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Motshekga On Monday Expected To Outline Final Plans For Reopening Of Schools

Minister Angie Motshekga is on Monday expected to present the sector’s final plans regarding its so-called phased-in approach to allow the resumption of teaching and learning in the country.

School management teams were scheduled to return to work this week, however, this has been put on hold in most provinces, as they are not yet fully prepared.

On Wednesday, Equal Education said over the past two weeks, inconsistent and contradictory information had been communicated regarding the reopening of schools in the country, leading to confusion and anxiety.

The groups said it hoped Motshekga would on Monday provide details on what teachers, caregivers and pupils should expect in preparation for the re-opening of schools.

Equal Education’s Noncedo Madubedube said they also wanted clarity on the implications of some grades possibly being kept at home for an extended period of time.

“We need clear plans detailing resources for the learners at home while we have a phased-in approach support for teaching and learning.”

The group said it hoped the department would make its final plans public to ensure transparency, accountability and a level of confidence among parents, pupils and teachers.

Meanwhile, the KwaZulu-Natal Department of Education said it would be able to resume teaching and learning as soon as it got the go-ahead from President Cyril Ramaphosa and Motshekga.

However, the South African Democratic Teachers Union (Sadtu) begs to differ.

Sadtu’s provincial secretary Nomarashiya Caluza said the department had so far failed to sanitise schools, deliver protective gear for education and pupils as well as hire additional staff to assist in curbing the spread of COVID-19 at schools.

Eyewitness News understands that the KZN education department plans to start delivering protective gear to schools over the weekend and it was busy organising work permits for principals and senior management teams so they could start preparing schools before some classes resume in June.

However, Sadtu said no teacher would go back to school until the department met its demands.

Caluza said: “There is no school that is going to be infected, schools must receive PPEs. If that is not done come 1 June, there will be no worker going back to school.”

Meanwhile, Education MEC Kwazi Mshengu said his department would require R1 billion from Treasury to ensure safety for all pupils and educators for the rest of the year.