Mbabane: Swaziland National Union of Teachers (SNAT) has once again clashed with the Ministry of Education and Training regarding issues relating to the readiness of schools for reopening on July 1, after the teachers’ body resolved to withdraw from the government’s training programme.
The teachers’ association claim the bone of contention is that it has been sidelined by the ministry in the training programme.
In statement issued on Tuesday, SNAT Secretary General, Sikelela Dlamini said “on May 26 and 27, SNAT alongside with other education stakeholders such as Ministry of Education and Training, attended a workshop which was meant to draw a module that was to be used in training all the stakeholders on preparing for the reopening on schools.”
It further said, during the workshop, a training programme was also drawn, intended to be rolled-out from June 9- July 3,2020 and it was meant to train the SNAT National Executive Committee, Branch Leaders and teachers as well.
Contrary to that, SNAT alleges that on June 4, the ministry went behind their back and crafted its own training programme which appears exclude SNAT while the original programme included teachers union and the Programme is said to have commenced on June 8 and it is still ongoing.
Dlamini said for that reason the union has resolved to withdraw the SNAT collectively from all the processes done in preparing schools for reopening.
Dlamini added that the union still stands with its 15 demands they tabled on May 4 regarding readiness of schools for reopening. SNAT says those demands remain non-negotiable and government should take them serious before considering to open schools.
Principal Secretary in the Ministry of Education Bertram Stewart dismissed knowledge of the withdrawal by SNAT from all processes but rather said SNAT is a recognized organization in the ministry, so he has not received any information in that regard. Stewart further told Independent News that regarding the 15 demands, they were still going to meet and discuss them with the union.