Teachers union Sadtu said that it was concerned about the Basic Education Department’s capacity to ensure the safe return of all primary school pupils to institutions in Kwazulu-Natal next week amid COVID-19.
The province has the biggest education system in the country, with over 6,200 schools.
Sadtu said that many schools still faced problems, including overcrowding and inconsistent access to water and sanitation.
The Basic Education Department expects all primary schools in the country to host full classes from Monday.
But Kwazulu-Natal Sadtu secretary, Nomarashiya Caluza, said that their situational analysis suggested there was no capacity at most schools in the province to ensure the safe return of all primary school pupils amid COVID-19.
“With the information we have, unless the department does some things differently and drastically, the majority of primary schools are not ready to welcome back all learners,” she said.
She said that while they recognized that most teachers had now been vaccinated against the coronavirus, pupils could transmit the disease among themselves and bring it home to parents and guardians who had not yet received their vaccinations.
She said that the department needed to provide mobile classrooms at overcrowded schools so that social distancing was adequately maintained.
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