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Unions fear schools becoming COVID-19 epicentres due to unpreparedness

National Association of Governing Bodies is also urging parents not to send their children to school.

Gauteng Education MEC Panyaza Lesufi inspects the Ga-Rankuwa Primary School, north of Pretoria on 26 May 2020. Picture: @Lesufi/Twitter

DURBAN/JOHANNESBURG - Teachers' unions and school governing bodies want Basic Education Minister Angie Motshekga to delay the re-opening of schools by at least a week.

They raised their concerns at a virtual meeting with Motshekga on Saturday night where, Eyewitness News was told, that she confirmed most schools in the country were not ready to resume teaching and learning.

The Education Ministry has not responded to EWN's request for comment.

National Teachers Union president Alan Thompson said on Sunday it wouldn't be practical to re-open schools on Monday.

"We are of the opinion that schools are going to be the epicentre of COVID-19 simply because no thorough preparations were made to make sure that schools are clean.

The National Association of Governing Bodies’ Matekanye Matekanye is also urging parents not to send their children to school if the request to postpone resuming the academic calendar wasn't granted.

SAFTU CALLS FOR STAY AWAY

The South African Federation of Trade Unions (Saftu) is calling for a stay away if schools reopen on Monday.

Saftu believes schools just aren't ready.

general-secretary Zwelinzima Vavi said education unions and school governing bodies had the backing of the federation.