Schools to reopen tomorrow: unions

The academic year is set to resume from Monday 8 June.
The academic year is set to resume from Monday 8 June.

Schools will finally reopen on Monday as the overall readiness is said to be at 94% as a result education unions and school governing body associations have called on their members to heed the call to return to school.

In the past few weeks the reopening of schools has been delayed by among other things shortage of personal protective equipment and water tanks.

On Sunday a joint statement by Professional Education Union (PEU), National Professional Teachers Organisation of South Africa (Naptosa), South African Democratic Teachers Union (Sadtu), South African Teachers Union (SAOU) , National Teachers Union (Natu), Federation of Governing Bodies South Africa (FEDSAS),National Association of School Governing Bodies (NASGB),  Governing Body Foundation (GBF) and SANASE said they supported the call to re-open schools on Monday with the clear understanding that no school may open that is not Covid-19 compliant.

The statement comes after the education stakeholders met with minister of basic education Angie Motshekga, provincial head of departments, director general of basic education, Mweli Matanzima, education MEC’s from different provinces to receive reports from the ministry about Covid-19 compliance of schools  and readiness to re-open schools.  Motshekga is expected to brief the country on the re-opening of schools on Sunday afternoon.

“It should be stated that three out of nine provinces were still experiencing challenges with regard to the delivery of water tanks which will make the resumption of learning and teaching impossible unless alternative measures are taken to ensure that all learners receive education,” read the statement.

The education stakeholders said they have put it to the minister that they expect  a sense of urgency from government in ensuring that as a bottom line all learners must access quality education in a healthy and safe environment .

“Alternative arrangements must be made to accommodate all the learners from schools that are not Covid-19 compliant. There should be an integrated plan to get schools that are not Covid-19 compliant ready in the shortest time. A new school calendar needs to be consulted on immediately. There should be an urgent attention to address and deliver the critical PPEs for the special schools in order to comply with the inevitable physical and social contact,” said the education stakeholders.

They said they will closely monitor the promise to complete the outstanding water deliveries, toilets and additional classes.

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