Teachers’ Union of Namibia (TUN) yesterday snubbed an initiative to open schools for particular grades, due to the rising number of Covid-19 cases and a lack of psychosocial support. This was revealed at a meeting which was held with a number of stakeholders.
Present at the meeting were parents, civil society representatives, student representative body, People’s Democratic Movement secretary general Manuel Ngaringombe and teachers. The meeting was held in response to the government’s plan for grades 4, 5, 6, 8 and 10 to return to schools on Monday.
Teachers union secretary Mahongora Kavihuha said teachers are not yet passionate enough to teach during this period of corona virus surge.
“As much as we [the teachers] are dedicated to teaching, we are not ready,” said Kavihuha.
“The schools are not ready either, and that’s why we’ll stand our ground,” added Kavihuha.
Kavihuha noted that teachers are supposed to provide psychosocial support to students, as such teachers to provide psychosocial support they themselves should have first received the same support.
Civil society activist said the early opening of schools betrays the national aim of fighting against the spread of corona virus, as opening schools for now is tantamount to putting the students and pupils’ life on a death row.
“From a public health perspective, it’s dangerous. Let’s not put the children at risk, because that’s putting the future of the country at risk,” civil society activist
One of the major reason that was put forward by stakeholders , that exposed the intention to open school as an uninformed and ridiculous move was that several companies and institutions such as the City of Windhoek, University of Namibia, parliament and NamWater were closed due to the pandemic, hence this left a dent on the education ministry’s decision making.
TUN last week gave the Ministry of Education, Arts and Culture an ultimatum to call off the reopening of more grades on 3 August.
On Tuesday minister of education, arts and culture Anna Nghipondoka requested schools to indicate their preparedness for schools to start face-to-face classes.
A number of countries in Africa which are experiencing a surge in Corona virus cases have not opened schools for face to face classes.
Liberty Pazvakawambwa SADC News correspondent