SADTU is angered by the DoE’s slow response to closing Northern Cape schools that reported COVID-19 infections.
The South African Democratic Teachers’ Union (SADTU) in the Northern Cape was concerned that parents had to forcibly close schools that recorded COVID-19 infections and not the Department of Education (DoE).
The Union expressed outrage on 5 June 2020 that the DoE in the province did not act swiftly enough in closing five schools that reported positive COVID-19 cases.
“The officials of the departments who want schools to operate as if it is normal when there are cases reported at schools, they must be taken to task because we take that as attempted murder,” SADTU’s Palesa Nqumashe told the SABC.
Education role-players were concerned by the spike of COVID-19 cases in the Northern Cape. Statistics show that 264 coronavirus infections were reported at a school. These include; 180 learners, 62 teachers and 22 support staff.
The school governing body in a Britstown school, Van Rensburg Primary, indicated that they were told by the department to hire four people to disinfect the school when they reported COVID-19 infections.
Concerned for the safety of learners and teachers, parents took it upon themselves to close down the school.
Head of Education in the Northern Cape, Moira Marais said: “In cases where we do find that the districts have been slow, we actually intervene. They are there to support the schools, they are there to manage the panic that arises. The initial thing that needs to be done is to establish the level of risk.”
The National Minister of Education announced in May that all primary school learners and learners with special needs must return to school from 26 July 2021.
President Cyril Ramphosa was concerned by the rise in coronavirus cases in Northern Cape schools. He has urged community leaders to take the necessary precautions to curb the COVID-19 infection spike.
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