KZN teachers speak out: 'Educators seen as disposable subjects'

KZN teachers speak out: 'Educators seen as disposable subjects'

Some KwaZulu-Natal teachers say it feels like government's put them in the firing line of COVID-19. 

Books on teacher's desk / iStock
Books on teacher's desk / iStock

They were supposed to return to school today - to prepare for the arrival of Grade 7 and 12 pupils next Monday. 

But they've been advised by their unions not to go back to work just yet. 

SADTU, NATU, Naptosa and others have written a joint statement. They say some schools are still waiting for the PPE's, sanitisers and disinfecting materials - promised to them by government. 

They also say some schools have not had their water tanks filled and their facilities cleaned. 

Newswatch spoke to three teachers about their return to classrooms. 

This teacher says they don't trust the Department of Education to keep them safe. 

"Schools need textbooks and basic ablution facilities - all these problems have not been addressed. How are they going to coordinate these efforts? I just don't see it.

"We don't feel safe, but we are going to go back. There is work to do. It's definitely not safe for the leaners until something is known about the diseases. It would be a huge risk to send them back."

This teacher says there are growing concerns over asymptomatic staff and pupils. 

"It is understandable that our schooling system needs to restart, but at what cost. Our educators are seen as disposable subjects at the department, what happens to the schooling system when the virus begins to peak?"

Another teacher says he's anxious about returning to school. 

"I personally feel that educators and learners are thrown into the deep end, and we face great risks as we do not know what to expect. 

"The department has constantly changed the dates for educators, leaving many educators anxiety-ridden." 

NOW READ: Zikalala outlines COVID-19 measures to be implemented at schools

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