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Concerns over teachers returning to schools early.

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Article by: Dumisane Dube

The National Professional Teachers Organisation of South Africa (Naptosa) has raised concerns on the reopening of schools two weeks earlier for teachers.

The Gauteng Department of Basic Education announced that teachers are expected to start on 1 February to prepare for the overall administrative duties.

NAPTOSA provincial spokesperson, Thirona Moodley says this will put teachers at a risk of contracting the virus, she also said teachers should work from home while they wait for schools to officially reopen for leaners.

“Teachers together with managers go back just two days before learners do at the beginning of the academic year. School planning, timetabling, teacher load and allocations are all done in the previous year. It’s not necessary, teachers are asking us what are they going to do for three weeks, or two weeks.” added Moodley.

Education Expert, Prof Mary Metcalfe says it’s in the best interest of the country that schools should open when it’s safe to do so.

“I personally feel that we need the frame work of what it means for schools to be able to safely open and strict compliance with what that means, we need to have a much more differentiated application of that frame work because levels of community infections are much higher in some districts than others,’’ Metcalfe said.

Metcalfe, says that the country should accept that there are children from disadvantaged backgrounds who will be affected by the pandemic and those children will need support.

“we need to understand that a head start of one week or a closure of two weeks is not going to change the trajectory of learning over the catch up period of two or three years”, added Metcalfe.

Schools are reopening on February 15 for leaners and 1 February for teachers.

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