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Teacher unions, governing body groups urge schools not to reopen on Monday

Teacher unions and the governing body associations are warning that the reopening of schools on Monday will be a grievous mistake as this would disadvantage institutions that have not yet received personal protective equipment.

Picture: @Lesufi/Twitter

JOHANNESBURG - Teacher unions and national governing body associations are calling on the Basic Education Minister to urgently postpone the reopening of schools on Monday, warning that the move will only perpetuate inequalities at schools across the country.

While Motshekga has given schools that have not yet met COVID-19 health and safety standards a 10 day grace period, the organisations said that this was not enough.

The groups have issued a joint statement that also rejects the staggered approach to the return of pupils to class, saying that no school must be left behind.

Grade 7s and matrics are expected to resume with the 2020 academic calendar from Monday.

Teacher unions and the governing body associations are warning that the reopening of schools on Monday will be a grievous mistake as this would disadvantage institutions that have not yet received personal protective equipment, especially those in the rural parts of the country.

In a joint statement, the unions have raised a number of concerns, including that most provincial departments have reported that schools have not been cleaned and disinfected and that educators need time to be trained on how to operate in the COVID-19 environment.

The organisations said that while the Northern Cape announced that schools in that province would only reopen on 8 June, government should move to ensure that all schools reopened at the same time.

Sadtu’s Mugwena Maluleke: "Let's understand this thing. You are saying let's celebrate the disparities that are there, you are celebrating the inequalities out there."

The education groups have called on schools, even those that are ready, not to reopen on Monday in solidarity with institutions that are yet to receive their health essentials.