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‘No schools will open until our demands are met’

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Sadtu pointed out that it had urged the department to comply with minimum requirements which it articulated in 14 points.

THE SOUTH African Democratic Teachers’ Union (Sadtu) has warned the Department of Education that no schools will reopen until the union’s demands are met.

In a statement issued yesterday by the Sadtu secretariat, the union stated that it had noted the presentation by the director-general of Basic Education to Parliamens education portfolio committee regarding the reopening of schools.

“Sadtu stands firm on its position which was articulated on Friday that no school shall open until our concerns are met,” the union said in its statement.

Sadtu pointed out that it had urged the department to comply with minimum requirements which it articulated in 14 points.

“These included among others, the fumigation and disinfection of schools; proper school infrastructure in the form of proper toilet facilities; observance of social distancing inside the classrooms and on court yards; reduction of class sizes; provision of soap, sanitisers and masks; screening of pupils, teachers and support personnel; social distancing in the transportation of pupils to and from schools; and provision of psycho-social services to assist pupils as well as teachers to build resilience and calm down fears among pupils and teachers.”

The union stated further that if Level 4 regulations were to be adhered to, there should be no reopening of schools under Level 4.

“The minister should meet with stakeholders before any announcement is made and after making sure that the Department of Health has expertly assessed the risks.”

It said further that it rejected “importing the Taiwan, China, Denmark and Singapore misrepresentation by the “director-general”. “The context and culture are not the same. We must use our context, culture and data to inform our actions. We stand firm that no schools shall open until our concerns are dealt with.”