SADTU Mpumalanga on the Re-opening of schools

28 May 2020

SADTU in Mpumalanga has noted Circular 22 of 2020 from the Mpumalanga Education Department on confirmation or resumption of duties by teachers and support staff.

The circular was released today 28 May and indicates that the department is of β€˜the view that all teachers and support staff resume duty on Friday 29 May2020 for orientation and preparation for the return of Grade 7 and 12 learners next week.’

The union holds a contradictory view and sees this as an impossibility. The union has always indicated that education workers in general and our members in particular are ready to go to work if the following conditions are in place:

  • A system of sanitation and hygiene including clean toilets
  • Clean water and supply of soap and sanitizers
  • Supply of protective material including masks and face shields
  • Supply of detection material including thermometers
  • Proper training of teachers by qualified people
  • Safe scholar transport for learners 0. Protocols for screening of learners

The department has not complied with all the above as majority of schools, particularly in the rural areas, are in the same state as pre-lockdown. As a union we have lots of information that shows that the majority of schools have not received PPEs and in some instances schools have only one 25 Liter bucket of sanitizer.

The other major areas of concern are the following:

  • Some teachers and education workers have to make travel plans as their residences are far away.
  • Teachers have not been trained and are definitely not ready to receive learners on Monday.

We urge the department to continue with efforts to make schools comply with safety protocols. They must only summon education workers in schools when all schools have received the necessary stock in required quantities and school buildings and offices have been made compliant.

Lastly, the union calls for an urgent meeting between teacher unions in the province and the Mpumalanga Education Department.

In the interim, Circular 22 of 2020 is rejected.

ISSUED BY: Provincial Secretariat

Walter Hlaise - Provincial Secretary: 0828855950
Patrick Mkhonto - Deputy Provincial Secretary: 0832673011