It is an obvious matter that the schools will re-open on Monday on Monday, says Paul Colditz, chair of the Federation of Governing Bodies of South African Schools (Fedsas).
The provinces were 90% ready for the gr. 7- and 12 pupils are welcomed back on Monday, he says.
If there are still some schools that are not ready then the rest will open.
“Those who cannot open on Monday will not be able to hold back the schools that can open.”
This is what Colditz said following a report that Mathanzima Mweli, director general of basic education, discussed on Thursday in a meeting with education unions and governing bodies.
“The business was that the rest of the schools would be ready by the weekend for personal protection equipment.
“Then there are some schools in some provinces that do not have sufficient running water yet, but they will also be helped over the weekend.”
Angie Motshekga, Minister of Basic Education, MECs, education unions and governing bodies will meet on Saturday.
Fedsas members, many of whom were already ready to begin last Monday, are optimistic about Monday’s reopening, Colditz says.
“A lot of work has been done in preparation to get everything right.”
According to the information, the Free State and the Northern Cape will also be ready to reopen, with some schools not yet ready.
Basil Manuel, executive director of the Naptosa trade union, says the decision on the reopening of the schools is still not entirely certain until Saturday with the minister.
Manuel says it’s time for the schools to open.
“The vast majority are now more ready than they were yet. There are many things to look at now, this thing is not over. “
Manuel, for example, wants to know what the plan is for detergents, soap and hand sanitizer after children return to school.
“How are schools going to get it? After all, it gets up and needs to be replenished, but nobody talks about it. “
Manuel also says there are schools that are not ready because they are in such poor condition that it cannot be prepared. Naptosa wants to know what the plan is for this.
Reniël Louis, Free State secretary of the South African Teachers Union (SAOU), says the Free State Department of Education has advanced in many aspects this week and most schools in the province are ready for reopening.
He does, however, say principals and their management teams cannot be forced to reopen on Monday if it is not safe.
Lodewyk says there were still schools on Friday that received only one cloth mask per pupil, instead of two, and the training of cleaners and workers measuring fever was not completed at all schools. Louis says this training is done at the last minute.
There are also schools that are struggling with water and sanitation problems.
The SAOU is concerned about the capacity of schools for the daily disinfection process required.
“Every day before school starts and after work is completed, those schools need to be cleaned again.”
He says this is still feasible with the limited space that the gr. 7- and gr. 12 pupils use, but it will become a “massive problem” as soon as the rest of the children return.
Greg Titus of Naptosa says the union doubts that all schools in the Free State and the Northern Cape will be ready on Monday. He also refers to schools that, among other things, have not yet received all the masks and who have water and sanitation problems. The schools that are having problems are mostly in the remote parts of the region, Titus says.