Teacher unions said that while their members were ready to head back to the classroom on Monday, educators concerned about their safety said that they would push back if the risk of infection increased.
The Basic Education Department instructed all teachers granted concessions to work from home during the nationwide lockdown to report back to school on Monday.
Teachers with co-morbidities had to work from home to reduce the risk of contracting COVID-19.
However, with the country now under alert level one, thousands of teachers have returned to their posts.
Over 22,000 teachers who were working from home during the lockdown will return to class on Monday morning.
The Professional Educators’ Union said that while teachers would have to adjust to the new normal in a bid to complete the academic year, schools across the country must ensure that strict safety measures were in place as they returned.
The union’s Ben Machipi said: “As to when they go back to work, they must be extra meticulous in terms of safety measures. They must always practice safe distance and always sanitize and put on their masks because COVID-19 is still with us.”
The National Teachers Union’s Allan Thompson urged schools to continue making use of substitute teachers.
“In those schools that were fortunate enough to get substitute educators, those substitute educators must be allowed to continue teaching because we still have problems with schools that are overcrowded and we are not expecting the department to allow those classes to continue existing because of safety reasons.”
Meanwhile, the South African Democratic Teachers Union has advised educators who are not ready to return to school to apply for normal leave.
In other news – Babes Wodumo attacked for her tempting outfit she was wearing at church
Staying true to her preacher’s kid roots, self-proclaimed queen of Gqom Babes Wodumo went back to church to sing and praise God with her father’s congregation, but on the social media streets it was her “church attire” that raised eyebrows.
Babes, who recently managed to salvage her Instagram account after a year, posted a video of herself singing songs of praise as a guest at her father Bishop Welcome Simelane‘s church on Sunday. Learn More