Union threatens to close schools: 'A dead teacher cannot teach and a dead learner cannot learn'

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Minister of Basic Education Angie Motshekga.
Minister of Basic Education Angie Motshekga.
Sydney Seshibedi,Gallo Images via Getty Images
  • Basic Education Minister Angie Motshekga is consulting with various stakeholders to find a solution to the schools crisis.
  • A teachers' union, which has 27 000 members, is threatening to close schools "by force".
  • The union says "a dead teacher cannot teach", which is why they have adopted such a tough stance. 

The Educators' Union of South Africa (EUSA) has threatened to shut down schools "by force" to protect pupils and teachers from contracting the Covid-19 virus.

The union, which has 27 000 members, claimed that Basic Education Minister Angie Motshekga was putting lives at risk.

Teachers' unions have been calling for her to close schools to curb the spread of the virus and come up with alternative models of teaching.

Motshekga has been consulting with various stakeholders to find a way forward, but it is not yet clear when an announcement will be made on the outcome of these discussions.

ALSO READ | School closures: Frustration mounts as teachers' unions await Motshekga's response

Basic education department spokesperson Elijah Mhlanga indicated on Monday that the consultation process was now closed.

Report

"The minister has concluded the consultation process... she is now processing a comprehensive report of this process through [the] structure of government, eventually with the NCCC [National Coronavirus Command Council] and Cabinet."

EUSA spokesperson Kabelo Mahlobogwane said that if schools were not closed from Monday, they would "shut down all non-compliant schools by force on 1 August 2020".

READ | Covid-19: Uber has been quietly helping governments with contact tracing

"We have learnt from the taxi industry that violence is the only language our government understands," he said.

"A dead teacher cannot teach and a dead learner cannot learn."

Mhlanga said the union should desist immediately. 

"We want to call on all those who are using illegal means to disrupting schools, including those who are appropriating themselves the authority of closing schools, which they don't have in law, to stop this immediately," he said.

"Law enforcement agencies have been asked to decisively deal with such."

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