Mbabane: Swaziland National Association of Teachers (SNAT) has come hard on Principal Secretary in the Ministry of Education and Training Bertram Stewart over his comment he made in regard of the Mdzimba High school teacher who died of COVID-19.
In a statement issued by SNAT Secretary General Sikelela Dlamini on Wednesday, the association expressed their dissatisfaction over the comment made by Stewart over the death of Boy Dlamini, a teacher from Mdzimba High School. Stewart was quoted in the online publication saying Dlamini has been sick for a very long time therefore one cannot be sure if he died of COVID-19. Stewart’s comment did not sit well with the teacher’s union as it contradict the fact that Dlamini’s death was confirmed by the Minister of Health Lizzie Nkosi on the daily reports on COVID-19 response in Eswatini.
SNAT described the Principal Secretary’s comment as insensitive on the loss of a precious human soul. SNAT described Stewart as a person who have a verbal diarrhea and he must take his detestation for teachers elsewhere. On the statement by the association, Stewart was reminded that on this planet (Earth), we are all mortals and there is no one who has a monopoly over what life presents to us. SNAT said Stewart is no Angel, hence not immune from death.
The teacher’s union lamented on Boy Dlamini’s death as they described it as one that was orchestrated by the government since the National Response Team could not transport the late teacher to Lubombo Referral Hospital on time where he was to receive immediate treatment. Dlamini ended taken by his fellow colleagues to the hospital on their private car which was hazardous as per the prevailing situation of COVID-19.
On another note, SNAT revealed that since the reopening of schools, they have been engaging with the Ministry of Education and Training (MOET) to ensure that all teachers are frontline workers in schools and those with underlying medical conditions and co-morbidities be taken care of. Unfortunately, MOET is reportedly to have done nothing in regard to the suggestion by SNAT who also highlighted that there are over 847 teachers with co-morbidities who at high risk.