Teachers unions demand meeting with Motshekga, reject June 8 school reopening

01 June 2020 - 09:12
By Yoliswa Sobuwa
Teachers unions demand meeting with Motshekga, reject June 8 school reopening.
Image: SAMORN TARAPAN/123rf.com Teachers unions demand meeting with Motshekga, reject June 8 school reopening.

The teacher unions have announced their rejection of the staggered opening of schools.

In a joint statement the five education unions, South African Teachers Democratic Union (SADTU), Professional Education Union (PEU), National Professional Teachers Organisation of South Africa (Naptosa), South African Teachers Union (SAOU) and National Teachers Union (Natu) said June 8 was never mentioned in their meeting with the minister of basic education, Angie Motshekga that took place on Saturday.

"The focus was readying the system and ensuring that all the provinces comply with the twelve non-negotiables.

The astounding confusion caused by the statement must be condemned because the department of basic education is obsessed with dates and ignoring the evidence of provincial readiness. The lack of appreciation for evidence can only be characterized as irresponsible and negligent," read the statement.

The Teacher Unions and Governing Body Associations met with the Council of Education Minister's (CEM) on Saturday and were promised to receive feedback before the press briefing which was scheduled for Sunday but was postponed for Monday.

"The Minister asked for time to consult her colleagues in the Cabinet on the issue of June 1, given the information from the independent Consortium and the Unions and committed to respond on Sunday which she did not honour. This is a betrayal of trust and does not bode well for the credibility of the education system," said the unions.

The unions therefore advised all schools, even those that might be ready to re-open, having received all the necessary materials for teachers and learners, not to re-open for learners until the non-negotiables have been delivered to all schools and to inform their learners accordingly.

"To further contribute to disparities between schools would be irresponsible. We call on the Minister to meet the Teacher Unions and Governing Body Associations on Thursday the 11th of June for genuine assessment and engagement about the readiness of the system.

Parents, learners, teachers and education workers can be assured that we all wish schooling to resume as soon as possible, but not at the expense of their health and safety," said the unions.