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Natu Concerned About 2021 School Curriculum

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Schools are expected to open on the 27th of January, but there are fears that the Department of Basic Education has not done enough to prepare schools.  

Cynthia Barnes, General Secretary of the National Teachers Union (Natu) said Natu is not happy with the fact that schools are scheduled to reopen soon. 

In 2020, the government faced some trouble with providing all schools with personal protective equipment and sanitation. 

In addition to this, schools faced overcrowding and frequent cases of Covid-19 infections. 

Barnes does not believe that schools will ever be able to adhere to social distancing, as they have been overcrowded for years.

The union is not impressed with the fact that the department has not given plans for a way forward.Now that the country is still on adjusted level 3, Natu hoped the department would provide a detailed plan explaining what will happen to teachers with comorbidities.

"The Department of Basic Education was supposed to send mobile classes to schools, but that was not done...That is a problem that we are faced with because we do understand that the department said they don't have money, so are they going to have money now? Because they need to go back and look at all the hiccups that they had in 2020."

"This is level 3 now, teachers with comorbidities are supposed to be at home and then what is going to happen? There's no plan that has been issued to us, so we don't know what is going to take place.

"Even the teachers themselves are phoning and asking us what is going to take place. We don't know if we are still going to be using the very same Collective agreement 1 of 2020 so the department doesn't have a plan at hand. "

Along with this uncertainty, teachers remain in the dark about the new curriculum for 2021. This comes as the department trimmed the 2020 curriculum after losing 5 teaching weeks during the lockdown. 

Basic Education Minister Angie Motshekga said public schools will spend the next 3 years catching up with the content trimmed from the curriculum. 

Natu hopes to negotiate with the department in order to come to an agreement that will benefit learners and teachers. 

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