Sadtu calls on ANC delegates at Nasrec to assess impact of COVID in education

The union says it would like to see the conference call for an emergency fund model, for education, to be set aside.

FILE: Members of the ANC sing and dance outside the plenary at the #ANC54 in Nasrec on 16 December 2017. Picture: Thomas Holder/Eyewitness News.

JOHANNESBURG - The South African Democratic Teachers’ Union (Sadtu) has called on ANC delegates gathering at the Nasrec Expo Centre to assess the impact of COVID-19 on the education sector.

The governing party is holding its sixth national policy conference from Friday.

Sadtu said when delegates consider various ways of tackling the country’s most pressing social issues, they should not neglect ideas to redress the psychological and growth impact of school closures during the pandemic.

According to the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation, the consequences of school closures include poor nutrition for pupils who depend on schools for meals, stress and confusion for teachers and a spike in dropout rates.

Sadtu’s Nomusa Cembi said it’s incumbent on ANC delegates to come up with solutions: “We would like to see the conference calling for the set aside of a emergency fund model for education, to deal with the gap that was created by the pandemic.”

Cembi said they want the country’s education system to focus not only on building labour skills, but also on prioritizing overall human development in line with the principle of ubuntu.

The conference is expected to run until Sunday.