KZN Education MEC urges teachers, school staff to return to work

This while trade unions in the province insists that teachers should not risk their lives by returning to schools if they felt that health and hygiene standards have not been met.

FILE: KZN Education MEC Kwazi Mshengu at a media briefing in Durban on 24 May 2020 on the province’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic. Picture: @DBE_KZN/Twitter.

DURBAN - KwaZulu-Natal Education MEC Kwazi Mshengu on Monday urged senior school management teams and teachers to return to schools, which were declared safe.

This while trade unions in the province insisted that teachers should not risk their lives by returning to schools if they felt that health and hygiene standards had not been met.

Mshengu said mass stay-aways by teachers could delay the resumption of the academic programme scheduled to begin next Monday.

The MEC said he needed all principals in the province to set an example and avail themselves to schools whether or not all those schools were declared safe.

“Principals are managers of schools and they must work with us to prepare those schools. Even in those schools that we consider not to be ready, we expect principles to be there,” Mshengu said.

“In the schools that are ready, we expect the principle, the school management teams, and all the complement of all teachers to be there so that they start with the orientation and all other measures that we have put in place,” he added.

Mshengu said those who wanted schools to remain closed should understand that the purpose of the lockdown, and subsequent halt of teaching and learning, was so that the country could prepare health facilities ahead of a peak in COVID-19 infections.

He said while infections at schools were inevitable, the Department of Basic Education would be guided by health officials on managing infections within learning institutions.

For official information about COVID-19 from the Department of Health, please click here.