Teachers Turned to Brigades

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The government has as usual promised people jobs and this time the jobs were supposed to be directed to the youth in South Africa. The Department of Education (DBE) issued notices of job vacancies in all government schools in the country, indicating that they will be hiring the youth to work as brigades during the COVID-19 pandemic. The work of the brigades is to scan all individuals entering the school premises, ensure that learners practice physical distancing, sanitise and wash their hands regularly, and make sure that all individuals within the school premises are safe at all times.

The youth applied for these jobs in high numbers and some even got responses from the DBE saying that they will be called for training before the schools reopen. But up until now, the youth have not been called for training. Schools have reopened, and instead schools resorted to using their teachers to do the job that the youth brigades were supposed to do.

Mr Msimango is the Principal of Zimisele Secondary School in Spring, on the Eastrand of Johannesburg. Mr Msimango said  “the Department has promised to send youth brigades but since the schools reopened no one has come forward.” Instead, some Community Healthcare Workers (CHWs) came once but they did not have enough protective gear and had to go back to their clinic. Since then, the CHWs did not return and the Department has been promising to send youth brigades.

The teachers are not happy about the additional duties.  A teacher in Zimisele Secondary School, Mr Dlamini, said “its no use refusing to do the job while we wait for the Department to send people.” He explained that most of the teachers who work at the gate are those who teach Grades 8 to 11. They pair with each other and take two-hour turns. “It is sad that a qualified teacher is now made a brigadier at the school premises,” said Dlamini.

This article was submitted on 10 August 2020. You may republish this article, so long as you credit the authors and Karibu! Online (www.Karibu.org.za), and do not change the text. Please include a link back to the original article.

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