Teachers have claimed that many schools in two of the city’s biggest education districts, uMlazi and Pinetown, had not received their PPE.
Picture: Supplied
Teachers have claimed that many schools in two of the city’s biggest education districts, uMlazi and Pinetown, had not received their PPE. Picture: Supplied

PPE not yet delivered to schools about to reopen

By Thami Magubane Time of article published Jul 3, 2020

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Durban - Some Durban schools are concerned that they will not be able to safely accommodate pupils returning to class on Monday as their schools have not yet received protective personal equipment (PPE).

Teachers have claimed that many schools in two of the city’s biggest education districts, uMlazi and Pinetown, had not received their PPE.

More than a million pupils in KwaZulu-Natal were expected to return to school, but the department announced yesterday that only grades R, 6 and 11 would be returning to class next week.

A teacher in the Phoenix area, who asked not to be named, said they were concerned about the non-delivery of additional PPE, saying this was especially concerning to primary school teachers.

“We haven’t received anything in our schools, and it’s the same for most of the schools under the Pinetown and uMlazi districts, there are more than 1000 schools in those two districts.

“The masks that were given to us when the schools first opened were for Grade 7 and all of them are gone now, and with a day left before schools reopen, how do I welcome my pupils back without the PPE? This is very concerning.”

He said the teachers were concerned that the department might not be able to make all the deliveries before Monday.

“Even when the schools opened to accommodate grades 12 and 7, there were delays in the delivery of PPE.”

Thirona Moodley, from the National Professional Teachers’ Organisation of SA, said the challenges experienced by grades 7 and 12 around PPE were still present three weeks later.

“The schools have not yet received PPE for the returning learners on July 6. District offices are closed due to infections which adds to the slow state of readiness.

“Schools are struggling to reconfigure their timetables as they are only allowed to have 50% of the school’s learners at the school per day.”

National Teachers Unions president Allen Thompson said the slow pace of delivery of PPE was one of the reasons they objected to schools welcoming the second group of pupils, as they did not believe there was enough capacity.

Basic Education director-general Mathanzima Mweli recently told members of the Basic Education Portfolio Committee that they would use a “just in time” delivery schedule when delivering equipment, as they feared breaks-in and vandalism of schools.

KwaZulu-Natal Department of Education spokesperson Muzi Mahlambi said PPE would be in schools by Monday.

The Mercury

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