Namibia: Teachers Not Ready for School

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The Teachers' Union of Namibia (TUN) says teachers are not ready to return to schools due to the rising number of Covid-19 cases and a lack of psychosocial support.

TUN last night hosted a meeting with parents, civil society representatives and teachers to address the returning of grades 4, 5, 6, 8 and 10 to schools on Monday.

"As much as we [the teachers] are dedicated to teaching, we are not ready," union secretary Mahongora Kavihuha said.

"The schools are not ready either, and that's why we'll stand our ground."

Kavihuha said while teachers have been told to provide returning pupils with psychosocial support, they are not receiving any support themselves.

In attendance at the meeting was also People's Democratic Movement secretary general Manuel Ngaringombe and representatives of the Student Union of Namibia.

"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 and Nangof-Trust chairperson Sandie Tjaronda said.

Tjaronda asked why schools were open while several companies and institutions, such as the City of Windhoek, University of Namibia, parliament and NamWater were closed due to the pandemic.

The union opposes the reopening of schools across the country for non-critical grades.

TUN last week gave the Ministry of Education, Arts and Culture an ultimatum to call the reopening of more grades on 3 August off.

Yesterday, minister of education, arts and culture Anna Nghipondoka requested schools to indicate their preparedness for face-to-face classes through an online survey.

The ministry will inform the nation on decisions taken on Friday.

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