Ramaphosa said he appreciated that some teachers may have been understandably and justifiably reluctant to return to school but their passion for education triumphed over fear and anxiety.
“We remember and pay tribute to those teachers who have succumbed to the virus and those who are still not well. Government is committed to the safety of all our educators and learners as well as for all the support staff in our school environment. We are acutely aware of the many other challenges that make it difficult for our teachers to do their work and we are working tirelessly to resolve problems in our schools with regard to infrastructure, sanitation, water, electricity, proper and safe classrooms as well as access to adequate learning material,” he said.
Ramaphosa also congratulated Sadtu for remaining strong after 30 years.
“We can all be proud that 30 years later Sadtu remains strong, united and cohesive. I cannot overemphasise the importance of organised formations of workers in a country with a history such as ours,” Ramaphosa said.
He urged Sadtu to play a decisive role in the development and implementation of a comprehensive strategy to eradicate violence at schools.
“You are now 30 years old as a union and the message of hope that I would like to put across to you is that there are many more tasks that lie ahead which the nation expects that you will be able to nurture the next generation of our country,” Ramaphosa said.