Teacher unions set against reopening of schools as COVID-19 cases surge

South Africans will be eagerly waiting to hear what Basic Education Minister Angie Motshekga has to say when she addresses the nation on Friday around her department’s plans to reopen schools.

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JOHANNESBURG - South Africans will be eagerly waiting to hear what Basic Education Minister Angie Motshekga has to say when she addresses the nation on Friday around her department’s plans to reopen schools.

Motshekga will hold a media briefing at 9am this morning.

Teacher unions, parents and some experts are opposed to public schools reopening on 27 January as originally planned, citing rising coronavirus infections.

The Basic Education Department’s plans were thrown into disarray thanks to COVID-19.

Months on, officials are still trying to balance the educational needs of the country and keeping everyone safe from the virus.

Teacher unions said that postponing the reopening of schools was the only option at this stage.

Naptosa’s Basil Manuel: "We have to listen to what the scientists say and they're saying it won't be safe [to reopen schools]."

Sadtu’s Mugwena Maluleke said that government could not risk the lives of pupils and teachers.

"The numbers are not very good for the reopening of schools, so yes, the delay of the reopening of schools is what we want and we motivated for that based on that but also based on the strategies of the WHO."

The Basic Education Department met with the National Coronavirus Command Council on Thursday to present proposals which are expected to be communicated publicly today.

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