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Teacher unions condemn groups disrupting schooling

The Basic Education Department issued an appeal to parents and communities to protect schools against disruptions, as grade seven pupils returned to the classrooms on Tuesday.

Image:123rf.com

JOHANNESBURG - Teacher unions said while they were against efforts by some organisations to sabotage the academic year, more needed to be done to ensure pupil and teacher safety.

The Basic Education Department issued an appeal to parents and communities to protect schools against disruptions, as grade seven pupils returned to the classrooms on Tuesday.

The department said that at least 38 schools in Gauteng had been affected by disruptions, orchestrated by school governing bodies and the Congress of South African Students, while others were threatened with closures over the past few days.

Naptosa’s Basil Manuel said that should the risk of infections increase, its members would take the necessary preventative measures.

"There were schools that were disrupted in Gauteng, the Western Cape and Mpumalanga. There are problems. Our view is that should there be a sudden change in direction of the virus, then we will have to look at things because it’s all about the safety and the health of our people."

The Professional Educators Union’s Ben Machipi has called on the department to engage with organisations that have threatened closures.

“We denounce the violence as we believe in negotiations. It is their prerogative to ensure that they take legal action against those people disrupting schools.”

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