7 June 2020
The five Teacher Unions (SADTU, NAPTOSA, SAOU, NATU, PEU) together with the School Governing Body Associations (FEDSAS, NASGB, GBF, SANASE) met with Minister Motshekga, the Deputy Minister, MECs of Provinces, the Director General in the Department of Basic Education, the Provincial HODs and various other officials, to receive reports from the Ministry about the COVID-19 Compliance of schools and readiness to re-open schools. We wish to emphasize that the meeting was open, frank and in a positive collaborative spirit that sought to join forces in combating a threat that affects not only everyone involved in education but also the future development of our country as a whole.
The Unions and SGB Associations heard of the progress made towards compliance. With the overall school readiness said to be 94%, the unions and SGB Associations consequently support the call to re-open schools on 08th June 2020 with the clear understanding that no school may open that is not Covid-19 compliant. It should be stated that three out of the nine provinces were still experiencing challenges with regard to the delivery of water tanks which will make the resumption oflearning and teaching impossible unless alternative measures are taken to ensure that all learners receive education.
The Unions and SGB Associations cautiously welcome the progress.
We are particularly thankful for the extent of PPEs deliveries, the improvement in the number of completed water supply projects and the delivery and improvement oftoilet facilities. This improvement came as a result of the constant emphasis by the Unions and SGB associations that water and sanitation are the non-negotiables inthe fight against the spread ofthe virus.
We remain committed to the principle that all schools must be COVID-19 compliant and ready to open together.
We will closely monitor the promise tocomplete the outstanding water deliveries, toilets, and additional classes.
As Unions and SGB Associations we have put it to the Minister that we expect:
The Unions and SGB Associations consequently tentatively support the call to re-open schools on 8 June 2020 with the clear understanding that no school may open that is notCOVID-19 compliant as per directive of the Minister and State President.
We as a collective of the major stakeholders in education remain committed to seeing that learning resumesin our schools but wishto caution against over- zealous “recovery” plans that further traumatize our teacher and education support workers. We remind schools that only ourmatric classes are faced with catching up on work missed.
We call on all our members to heed the call to return to school or alternative accommodation except where schools are notready and thus unsafe.
Issued by the following Teacher Unions and National Governing Body Associations:
SADTU: The General Secretary - Mugwena Maluleke - 0827832968
NAPTOSA: The Executive Director - Basil Manuel – 0795086228
NATU: The President - Alan Thompson - 0736078141