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Teachers' unions, SGB associations urge DBE to rethink opening schools on Monday

The groups issued a joint statement on Friday, raising concerns over the staggered approach to the return of pupils to class saying no school must be left behind.

A classroom at the Ga-Rankuwa Primary School, north of Pretoria on 26 May 2020. Picture: @Lesufi/Twitter

JOHANNESBURG – Teacher unions and national governing body associations warned the reopening of schools on Monday will be a grievous mistake and urged the basic education minister to reconsider.

The groups issued a joint statement on Friday, raising concerns over the staggered approach to the return of pupils to class saying no school must be left behind.

While Minister Angie Motshekga gave schools that have not yet met COVID-19 health and safety standards a 10-day grace period, the organisations said this is not enough.

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

The basic education department has forged ahead with the reopening of schools next week, despite calls from teacher unions and governing body associations to postpone.

The organisations said they were worried that provincial education departments that had not yet received their personal protective equipment would be left behind.

They said most schools in rural areas were experiencing delays and it would be unfair for institutions in urban areas to resume while it’s still unclear when those in disadvantaged areas would receive their health and safety essentials.

The groups called on the education department to only open schools when all schools across the country have been given the green-light.

Meanwhile, the department gazetted the final schedule for the reopening of schools in the country under the Disaster Management Act.

READ: Basic Education Department's final schedule for reopening of schools

200529 Basic Education Gazette by Primedia Broadcasting on Scribd