Unions want health and safety of pupils and teachers prioritised

Unions want health and safety of pupils and teachers prioritised

Unions say the health and safety of pupils and teachers must be prioritised when Basic Education Minister, Angie Motshekga addresses the nation today. She's expected to brief the country at 4pm this afternoon on the reopening of schools.

school empty classroom

The department held extensive discussions with stakeholders last week. 

Motshekga previously said that they were looking at a controlled phased-in return of Grade 12 and 7 pupils from the 1st of June. 

Mugwena Maluleke, who's with teachers union SADTU, says they need assurance from government that strict measures will be implemented at schools.

 "Schools should be disinfected, masks must be made available and screening must be done on workers and learners," said Maluleke. 

NATU's Alan Tomson wants Motshekga to address the numbers issue. 

READ: SA COVID-19 cases increase to 16 433

"We have not seen adverts for much needed additional teachers and substitute teachers - especially for teachers who have chronic illnesses who won't be able to return to work." 

NAPTOSA's Basil Manuel says they want to know social distancing will work in the classroom.

" We would have to have adapted so much of what we do and so many of the things that we take for granted, like sports, music instruments that children shared. So, suddenly we are looking at things very differently and the staff room becomes a different place and also the method of teaching." 

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