Unions not in support of the new academic calendar

Unions not in support of the new academic calendar

Teachers unions say the process of getting teachers back to school is rushed, schools aren't ready and they don't fully support the amended school calendar.
Namibia National Teachers Union (NANTU) representative, Naftal Shigwedha said some schools have no proper ablution facilities and no running water.
"The issue of social distancing for more than 30 teachers in a school, how will the ministry handle that?" he asked.
Therefore, NANTU is not in full support of the proposed new school calendar.
It instead proposed for the Grade 11 and 12 learners to start attending schools again in June so they don't lag behind.
Naftal said the union proposed for only the senior management to return to schools as they are not happy with the option and they are still consulting.
Teachers Union of Namibia (TUN) president, Toini Nauyoma said the union has observed that schools are not prepared as per World Health Organisation (WHO) guidelines and are not ready to receive teachers.
She said there are no clear cut guidelines of what is expected from teachers when they return to school.
There is no assistance to combat the spread of the virus for teachers who are already at schools.
She also emphasised that the union is not in support with the current school calendar and noted that the calendar will disrupt the continuation of subjects.
She concluded that if measures are not put in place, they will be aggressive and recall their members back.
Education Ministry's Deputy Executive Director, Knox Imbuwa said teachers are part of the education system to ensure school preparedness, and they are not rushed.
He said the necessary stakeholders were engaged, including unions, to ensure preparedness for face to face learning.
He also added that teachers are custodians of their classrooms and they are needed at schools to ensure all the measures are fulfilled.
Imbuwa said the ministry had engagements with the Finance Ministry and other stakeholders to avail necessary funding to all the COVID-19 related equipment and schools were also asked to avail development fund to procure what is needed at schools.
The trio said this during a panel discussion at the COVID-19 Communication Centre.