Teacher unions concerned some schools not ready for new academic year

Teacher unions concerned some schools not ready for new academic year

The National Professional Teachers Organisation of South Africa (Naptosa) says it is concerned about the readiness of schools in rural areas.

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Public schools are set to reopen for the 2021 academic year on Monday. 

 The start of the academic year was delayed by the Covid-19 pandemic.

 Naptosa’s Basil Manuel says most rural schools are not ready to reopen on Monday. 

 “We are concerned that there are still gaps, whilst our second survey has shown school readiness, there are still almost 35% of schools that are not exactly completely ready. They have partial readiness and that worries us.

 “We certainly hope that between the closure of our surveys and opening of schools, much of these could have been done.

 “But what worries us more are rural provinces, KZN, North West, Eastern Cape, Mpumalanga, and Limpopo that are furthest behind in terms of readiness.” 

 Manuel says the Basic Education Department needs to make more funding available to assist struggling schools. 

 “We cannot have that our schools are not completely ready, because we are talking about health and safety. If our provincial departments are not doing the best they can, then that means that whatever the president had said is not applying to them.

 “We want to see more effort put in, and even if that means we must have more finances made available to these battling provinces.” 

 Meanwhile, the South African Democratic Teachers Union (Sadtu) has urged communities to support teachers when school reopens.

 "The report that we are receiving is it that preparation may not be 100%. However, it is the work that we should be able to support for the learners to be back to schools because they have been missing education,” says Sadtu secretary-general Mugwena Maluleke 

 "We as an organisation would want to make an appeal to the communities and our people in South Africa to support the work of our teachers so that then they are able to proceed with education starting from Monday.” 

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