DBE accused of showing little regard for the lives of teachers

They say while an agreement was reached to push back the return of pupils, they were never consulted about the early return of school management teams and teachers.

FILE: Teacher unions have expressed mixed feelings about the department’s announcement on the reopening of schools, saying some new guidelines had left them confused. Picture: freeimages.com

JOHANNESBURG - Teacher unions may have welcomed the postponement of the reopening of schools, but they've accused the Department of Basic Education of showing little regard for the lives of educators.

They say while an agreement was reached to push back the return of pupils, they were never consulted about the early return of school management teams and teachers.

Earlier on Friday, the department announced that both private and public would reopen two weeks later than originally scheduled due to the surge in COVID-19 infections.

Teacher unions have expressed mixed feelings about the department’s announcement on the reopening of schools, saying some new guidelines had left them confused.

Sadtu’s Xolani Fakude has accused the department of only prioritising pupils and forgetting about the lives of educators, many of whom have contracted the virus.

“We only agreed to the two weeks delay for learners to return to schools, now it is our view that this shows once again that the department has little regard for the lives of the workers.”

Naptosa’s Basil Manual agrees: “It shows a complete disdain for the lives of teachers.”

The unions say it would been ideal for teachers to return to work a week before the reopening of schools, which is set for 15 February.

They’re also asking the department to clarify guidelines for Early Childhood Development Centres.

Download the Eyewitness News app to your iOS or Android device.