The Union of Professional Educators – Voice of the Workers, is beyond concerned at this point in time, following the nightmarish weekend which has come to a close. After just one week from the reopening of schools, notifications have been reaching the union’s offices informing us of numerous alleged cases in a number of schools, and these notifications have not stopped rolling in since.
The UPE has been listening to the worried pleas of educators nationwide. Their concerns are real and tangible. With a few tens of educators in the building, cases have been cropping up so fast that educators’ minds have been racing over the events as they develop. Had the UPE not taken it in its stride to ensure that numbers were stated as they stood, numbers would have been inflated and misinterpreted out of fear and panic. Keeping facts away from people is not only irresponsible, it is dangerous: keeping people in the dark as to the reality of a situation at hand will ultimately be the cause of the spread and not the curbing of it. At this point in time, the union is amazed that the ministry has not seen the necessity of adopting an alternative plan: online learning.
The Union of Professional Educators – Voice of the Workers, is thus asking the Ministry of Education to reconsider the reopening of schools, and to invest in an alternative strategy which will safeguard our educators, while educators are still healthy and available. If things continue as is, with numbers of educators already worryingly low, and with patchwork solutions being put in place to conceal the fact from the general public, the certainty that teachers are falling ill, and will continue falling ill, will only lead to one disastrous conclusion: schools will inevitably close and there will not be enough educators to cater for the online learning we are proposing to have in place now.