Teachers and parents plead with Motshekga not to open school
The basic education department sent an invitation to the public asking them to send through the most vital questions they would like to ask minister Angie Motshekga when she is going to address the nation.This move has lead to a lot of cans full of worms to be opened.
The department was full with tweets from parents and teachers who are suprisingly asking for schools not to resume because of serious worries over the spread of the coronavirus.
Some stated that the reopening of schools is “deadly ” and “it is a recipe for disaster”.
Smangaliso Sibiya, a teacher in KwaMashu, north of Durban, said that at his school there were roughly 350 pupils who are in grade 8 in five classes, some of them do not havedesks.
“He went on to say that those who have desks they seat in threes. They also don’t have textbooks and the few that are there are shared,” he said.
The government said parents, teachers and pupils will have to be patient for the briefing on wether the school are going to open or not”.
A teacher, Tebogo Magano from Warrenton, in the Northern Cape, questioned how the department is going to handle teachers and pupils with other health conditions like cancer, bronchitis and asthma.
Phyl Mbali wrote: “I will not send my son back to scho when this virus is still at its peak. NOT HAPPENING.”
Natasha van Heerden wrote: “Schools should not resume now — full stop.”
A writer who goes by the name “jirehforjay” asked: “What’s more important between saving the academic year or saving our kids life’s by keeping them safe at home?”
A tweet from Vuyisile Mpiyakhe read: “I wonder why you would want teachers and learners to resume school. Do you want their blood on your hands?”
Lesiba Maja wrote: “Opening schools will be deadly. We need to wait at least until August or September.”
Sadtu calls for tight health protocols before considering reopening schools
The SA Democratic Teachers Union (Sadtu) has called on the departments of basic eduction and higher education to give temperature scanners.
Cate Likhoele asked: “Are people’s lives not worth more than certificates and curriculum?”
Shaveer Khan, a matric pupil with a diabetic father, said if schools resume and he is infected with the virus, “I would be risking the life of my father ”.
Trish wrote: “Life first schools can wait.”
‘You must react ‘
Basil Manuel, executive director of the National Professional Teachers’ Organisation of SA (Naptosa), said that while asking the public to send their questions to the minister was a good way to bring democracy to the people, “you must respond to what they are going to say”.
He asked if the department is going to reply the tweets.
“Virtually all the tweets are saying what the unions have put on the table, such as addressing the issue of overcrowding and social distancing in schools, and the school feeding scheme.”
Elijah Mhlanga who is the spokesperson of basic education department took to Twitter to call the nation to ask the most vital questions they would like to ask Motshekga after a media address which was meant to take place on Monday was postponed.
“Share your views,” he wrote.
Motshekga and her partners from higher education, Blade Nzimande, were meant to give an update on their areas of work in regards to the Covid-19 lockdown.
He said the pushing of the meeting was “necessitated by the need to meet with other interventions that are to be taken by the National Coronavirus Command Council later this week”.
Mhlanga not respond to the e-mailed questions about his invitation to the public to send questions to Motshekga.