Today's Labour News

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angiemotshekgaSowetanLive reports that teacher unions have requested an urgent meeting with Department of Basic Education Minister Angie Motshekga amid fears over the rising number of infections in the second wave of the coronavirus pandemic.  

The unions said this would be a crucial meeting that would inform decisions about whether their members returned to schools if they reopened on 25 January as proposed.  They have raised concerns about the number of teachers who have died of Covid-19 and those who were currently infected, as well as concerns over capacity.  “Many teachers are sick and some have since passed away and this will lead to a severe shortage of teachers. We need to ensure that there is a teacher in front of every learner,” said Ben Machibi of the Professional Educators Union.  He added that the department must implement a staggered reopening of schools because if all pupils returned on the same day, it would not be possible to observe safety protocols.  On Monday, President Cyril Ramaphosa said the National Coronavirus Command Council (NCCC) was dealing with concerns over the reopening of schools.  Basil Manuel of the National Professional Teachers' Organisation said they were surprised when Ramaphosa did not pronounce on the reopening of schools.  “We have asked [for] a meeting with the minister as we want to understand what is going on. We have been preparing for schools to open on the announced date but at the same time there are lots of fears. We need to understand the impact that this is having on schools,” he stated.  Mugwena Maluleke of the SA Democratic Teachers’ Union (Sadtu) said in dealing with the second wave, it was critical that the number of infections must be seen to have declined for 14 consecutive days before schools could reopen safely.

  • Read the full original of the report in the above regard by Yoliswa Sobuwa at SowetanLive

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