The Minister of Education today addressed the nation starting with an apology for the postponements and eventual late release of a flawed circular. The Minister added no clarity or direction for the thousands of teachers and parents, but merely gave a historical account of everything the union collective has been cautioning the DBE about.
Amidst all the confusion created by the Minister and her Department around the re-opening of schools, there is now ample evidence that there are many schools where the non-negotiables have been complied with and where the reasons for teachers not to return to school have been removed.
It is as a result of work done by NAPTOSA, in conjunction with other education trade unions, that we have reached this point. It is important that our members who teach and work in these schools, return to school so that they can undergo the required orientation to receive the Gr 7 and 12’s when schools do re-open for learners, the date of which is still to be confirmed when the system as a whole is ready, despite the Minister’s premature announcement of 8 June 2020. We have no doubt that our members will head this call, being responsible workers who believe in the inalienable right of every child to quality education.
The flipside of the coin is that educators and education workers at schools that are not COVID-19 compliant are NOT to attend school under any circumstances. This is in line with the Regulations of the Department of Labour (Government Gazette 43257), the State President’s letter of 1 May 2020 and the Minister’s Directions published in Government Gazette 43372 of 29 May 2020.