The education sector of the trade union Nupsaw rejects the blatant arrogance with which the Minister of Basic Education expects from teachers and school children to turn-up at schools on 28 June, which falls within their scheduled holiday, to fetch those textbooks that the Department has neglected to deliver on time,” Success Matatsaine (Nupsaw General Secretary) says in his reaction to a statement published on News 24. It stated that school principals would make arrangements with students to collect their textbooks on June 28, to enable them to study over the coming school holidays.

Mataitsane says “school holidays are stipulated as legitimate leave for teachers. This arrangement violates industrial relations practice.”

Any teacher worth their salt knows that teaching is a vocation that goes beyond explicit, dedicated working time. However, teaching is a hard job and teachers need the time to recharge.

Due to the negligence of the Minister and her officials it is now unashamedly expected from teachers and learners to catch-up with their work during the school holidays. This smacks of disregard, especially for the position of those who come from poor families and who have to cover long distances to get to school. What if they can’t afford the extra cost of traveling they haven’t budgeted for? What about those who have planned to go away for the holidays?

As a union which has an obligation to safeguard the rights of its members, we condemn the negligence of Basic Education Minister Angie Motshekga who is accountable for the incomplete delivery of textbooks and is, therefore, calling for her dismissal.