TEACHER unions announced on Friday that schools in KwaZulu Natal were not ready to receive teachers and learners under the COVID-19 related protocols.
In a joint statement, the South African Democratic Teachers Union (SADTU), National Teachers Union (NATU), National Professional Teachers’ Organization of South Africa (NAPTOSA), South African Teachers Union (SAOU) and Professional Educators Union (PEU) said they were disappointed with the management of the closures and the re-opening of schools in KwaZulu Natal.
“The Department in the province (KZN) has failed to show leadership nor give guidance to their employees during this particularly trying time. Employees in the sector have been left to their own devices and received no support from the Department”, said the unions.
Teachers in the province were set to return on Thursday May 28, however, the unions advised its members not to return.
“We advise our members in the Province NOT to report to schools on 28 May 2020 because schools are not ready to receive them under the COVID-19 related protocols”, said the unions.
Unions said the department has not been communicating with its members appropriately and therefore cannot expect them to return to schools without the correct information.
“We must be consistent, education in this Province will commence when all schools are ready to receive learners and teachers safely,” said the unions.
Schools across the country have been hard at work as learners and teachers are expected to return to school on Monday, however, on Thursday Basic Education Minister Angie Motshekga announced that schools can take an extra week if they are not ready by Monday.
“I am not expecting delays of three months, I am expecting of only a week,” said Motshekga.
The unions said few water tanks delivered in the poor and rural schools were not installed for use hence no water could be loaded adding that some thermometers delivered of poor quality and cannot be utilized as they do not have batteries.
“There is no uniformity and no explanation about what is given to schools. This represents the disdain with which the department has elected to treat some of our schools,” said the unions