Five teachers’ unions and three school governing body associations said schools are not ready to reopen next Monday, calling on those who are ready to stay closed in solidarity with the unprepared schools.
“The education system, as matters currently stand, is not ready for the reopening of schools. Most provincial departments have not been able to deliver personal protective equipment, or at least sufficient PPEs, for all returning teachers,” said Federation of Governing Bodies of South African Schools (FEDSAS) CEO Paul Colditz.
He said some PPEs for learners are yet to be delivered and some schools have not been cleaned as Friday was the last working day before schools’ opening on Monday.
“Taking all these conditions into consideration, unions and national school governing body associations agree that it would be a grievous mistake to force the reopening of schools on June 1,” the organizations said in a joint statement issued on Friday afternoon.
South African Democratic Teachers Union (SADTU) call on all schools, even those that might be ready to reopen, having received all the necessary materials for teachers and learners, not to reopen until the non-negotiables have been delivered to all schools and to inform their learners accordingly.
SADTU General Secretary Mugwena Maluleke said all schools must be opened on the same day.
“As a collective we wish to highlight our rejection of a staggered opening of schools. No school must be left behind, especially not because of incompetence and tardiness,” he said.
The school governing bodies and teachers unions are scheduled to meet the basic education minister on Saturday to discuss their concerns. Enditem