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Swaziland: Teachers oppose resumption of lessons

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eSwatini teachers have rejected the government’s decision to gradually reopen schools, despite the coronavirus pandemic which has so far claimed 55 lives in the country.

The National Association of Teachers of Swaziland (SNAT) sued the eSwatini government in labor court over its decision to reopen schools in July, despite a spike in coronavirus cases in the southern African kingdom. Some 2,968 cases of Covid-19 have been recorded as of August 7.

Exam classes have returned to the school since July 6, despite protests from teachers and parents.

The Ministry of Education is also adamant that other upper grades such as the third and seventh year of primary school should also return to school.

SNAT sued the government in the labor court, believing that the situation is not yet conducive to the return of children to school, as most schools are not sufficiently prepared to meet the requirements of Covid-19.

In its request, the association argued that students and teachers are at risk of contracting Covid-19 if they continue to attend school.

According to SNAT General Secretary Sikelela Dlamini, more than 20 cases of Covid-19 have so far been reported in schools.

What worries teachers the most is that most of the schools where the cases have been reported have continued to operate as if nothing had happened, putting teachers and students at risk.



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