With millions of pupils back in class in South Africa after the government ordered the reopening of schools on Monday, teachers unions in the country have expressed concern whether the government has addressed cases of overcrowded schools and water supply shortages.
According to a local media eNCA quoting the president of the National Professional Teachers’ Organization of South Africa (NAPTOSA), Basil Manuel said “We want schools to reopen. We want our kids back at school. Our teachers are ready, but of course, not at all costs. The schools don’t want to be the next place where the next wave of the virus starts.”
Speaking on the issue of safety, he added that “the biggest outstanding issue is still the social-physiological support for both teachers and learners,” adding that not all learners are resilient because some live in communities where people are dying or family members have been infected and need support just like teachers.”
The largest union in the country, the South African Democratic Teachers Union (SADTU) said many schools in the country which has registered more than 611,0001 coronavirus cases, the highest on the continent were underprepared to deal with the influx of students.
Meanwhile, a spokesman for the Department of Education Elijah Mhlanga said schools are ready to deal with the influx of learners with safety measures in place to combat spread of COVID-19.
Back in July, President Cyril Ramaphosa had closed schools again following a public outcry on rising coronavirus cases after learning institutions were briefly reopened.
Monday’s resumption of classes comes as the country registers a decline in new infections. The health minister said the country was “over the surge which has placed it as the world’s fifth worst-hit country from the Coronavirus.
South Africa has recorded a total 13,159 fatalities so far.
ECOWAS Hints At Lifting Mali Sanctions
Leaders of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) have hinted on lifting sanctions earlier imposed on Mali in the wake of last month’s coup. Imports to land-locked Mali have slumped since the imposition of a trade embargo.
ECOWAS envoy, Nigerian former president, Goodluck Jonathan said Mali military officers, who overthrew president Ibrahim Boubacar Keïta, were acceding to international calls for a transition to civilian rule.
The military junta announced a former minister of defence, Bah Nda`Oh, as interim leader that would oversee a transition to a civilian-led government. Coup leader, Colonel Assimi Goita, has been named vice-president.
Cameroon: Protesters Call For End To Bloodshed From Anglophone Crisis
Protesters in Cameroon have called for a ceasefire and negotiations to end a long-running conflict between Anglophone separatists and security forces. More than 3,000 lives have so far been lost in the conflict. The protesters are also demanding a reform of the electoral system.
Police and soldiers had taken up positions in several cities, including Douala, and the capital-Yaounde, since opposition leader, Maurice Kamto, called for a peaceful demonstration.
Police used tear gas and water cannon to break up a protest by hundreds of people in Cameroon’s economic capital Douala on Tuesday. They were calling for an end to bloodshed in the country’s Anglophone regions. At least one protester was reported killed.
Last month Kamto, head of the movement for the rebirth of Cameroon and runner-up to president Paul Biya in a 2018 election, labelled Biya`s government a “kleptocracy.” Kamto accused 87-year-old Biya of “ruling through disdain and terror,” and urged a “giant campaign calling for the pure and simple departure of Paul Biya from power.”
Ghana’s Nurses And Midwives Call Off Strike
Ghanaian nurses and midwives have called off their indefinite strike to resume work today following the government’s promise to conclude negotiations within a month.
The nurses and midwives are demanding better terms of service including rent and transport allowances.
The strike left many patients stranded, and some dead, in medical facilities across the country.
The National Labour Commission secured a court order to enforce an earlier injunction meant to end the strike and compel the healthcare workers to continue negotiations with the government.
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