'By Wednesday, I am expecting effective teaching': Angie Motshekga
Basic education minister Angie Motshekga expressed confidence on Thursday that all teachers where schools had received sufficient personal protective equipment (PPE) would report for duty on Monday.
“They haven’t indicated that if all their health requirements have been met, they [will not come], so I don’t want to even assume that they won’t come. I think they appreciate the importance for them to come to work. If they don’t come, I guess the rule will apply,” she said, referring to the "no work, no pay" policy.
“So if perhaps you are too anxious to come to work, it means you have to give the less anxious [a chance to take your place],” she said, adding that there were young, eager teachers waiting to enter the system.
Motshekga was speaking at Seshegong Secondary School in Olievenhoutbosch, near Midrand, which was gearing up to receive just over 200 matric pupils on Monday.
The minister was taken on a walkabout there and at two other Gauteng schools on Thursday to assess their state of readiness.
The state-of-the-art school was opened by premier David Makhura in November 2017 and still boasts new furniture.
Motshekga was told that five classes were usually used to accommodate grade 12 pupils. From Monday, this would be increased to 11 classes to allow for social distancing.
The school officials briefed Motshekga on several ways this would be achieved. This included two breaks to ensure that their 200-plus pupils were not all out on the school grounds at the same time.
Speaking after the visit, Motshekga said for many schools across the country, “the most difficult part, which is curriculum management, has been done”.
“The other parts are just technical,” she said.
With matric and grade 7 pupils expected back in class on Monday, Motshekga said she was not expecting lessons to immediately resume.
“Monday and Tuesday will be used for induction and reorientation for teachers and pupils, and distribution of PPEs to the kids,” she said, adding that schools needed to ensure that each child had textbooks as sharing would not be permitted.
“By Wednesday, I am expecting effective teaching,” she said.
Schools that have not yet received all their materials and PPE will not be allowed to reopen on Monday.
Motshekga said auditors will be deployed to all schools to assess and ensure readiness.