Sadtu calls for strict health protocols before pupils, teachers return to school
The SA Democratic Teachers Union (Sadtu) has called on the departments of basic eduction and higher education to provide temperature scanners to screen pupils and students when schools and tertiary institutions reopen.
Sadtu urged the departments to comply with a number of minimum requirements that had to be put in place at learning institutions at least two weeks before any activity can take place.
Both basic education minister Angie Motshekga and her counterpart from higher education Blade Nzimande will address the nation on Monday about their plans for the reopening of schools and universities.
In a statement, Sadtu said that the institutions need to be fumigated and disinfected and that water tankers should be deployed to those without running water.
“The departments should ensure that learning institutions have enough soap, disinfectants and sanitisers and that hygiene is part of the curriculum where it should be the first thing to be practised before any daily learning activity can take place.”
All classrooms and workshops should be provided with sanitisers to be used at entry and exit points.
Sadtu said that the departments should hire more staff to clean and sanitise the classrooms, workshops and offices as frequently as possible.
“Desk screens should be provided to prevent learners from touching each other or the desks or chairs and these chairs, tables or desks must be sanitised all the times.”
The union said that high quality masks should be provided and that it should be mandatory for them to be worn at all times inside and outside classrooms and workshops.
“The delivery of these must be guaranteed before any reopening of learning institutions can be effected.”
Sadtu said that 1.2m to 1.5m social distancing inside classrooms and workshops should not be compromised.
“The space for the teacher or lecturer to walk between rows of desks or chairs shall be in compliance with social distancing.”
The union said that the sharing of readers and textbooks must be prohibited as it may pose a health risk for the students
“All the necessary health precautions must be taken seriously to avoid schools and colleges being new epicentres of the virus,” the union said.
The union said its first priority was the safety of all learning institutions “because we cannot afford to lose lives. Corpses can neither be taught nor teach.”