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Naptosa seeks assurances on COVID-19 measures as teachers return to school

Naptosa said that it had never been against teachers returning to schools but executive director Basil Manuel wanted to know whether the sanitising of schools and the delivery of personal protective equipment would be sustained and not be a once-off.

Classroom. Picture: stock.xchng.

CAPE TOWN - The National Professional Teachers' Organisation of South Africa (Naptosa) wants to be reassured of COVID-19 safety measures as its members return to schools.

Teachers returned to schools on Monday to continue preparations for the phased return of learners from next week.

Naptosa said that it had never been against teachers returning to schools but executive director Basil Manuel wanted to know whether the sanitising of schools and the delivery of personal protective equipment would be sustained and not be a once-off.

"How do you keep these things clean? Are there sufficient employees on the premises to ensure that classrooms are clean? It's not the teacher's responsibility to clean desks and things."

Western Cape Education MEC Debbie Shafer said that more than 80% of schools had received materials for cleaning by the 18th of May.

"Safety and hygiene packs have been delivered over the past two weeks and will continue this week. Detailed guidelines have also been issued to schools on a variety of topics, including the management of confirmed cases of schools, hygiene practices, and learner transport safety and the management of learners and teachers with comorbidities."

However, the Democratic Teacher's Union's Jonovan Rustin a deep clean is needed.

"We are not very happy with the province's stance to let the non-teaching staff wipe down the surfaces with bleach water, etc. We need to have a collaboration with the private sector and the Department of Public Works to deep-clean and sanitise our schools. So we feel very uncomfortable with the proclamation of school readiness in the Western Cape."

Sadtu is against teachers returning now.