SADTU Raises Concerns Over Negative Impact Of Loadshedding On Education
SADTU has released a statement voicing their concerns about the negative impact of loadshedding on education.
The South African Democratic Teacher’s Union (SADTU) is concerned about loadshedding disrupting learning and teaching.
“Education in South Africa was dealt a blow by the Covid-19 pandemic and as it subsides, we are now confronted with loadshedding. Learners need to study and perform school tasks necessary for curriculum coverage at home because of an assessment centric curriculum we have. Learners are affected psychologically as they cannot perform these tasks at home due to lockdown. We are disappointed that instead of improving, the energy situation, is seemingly regressing,” stated SADTU.
According to the teachers’ union, not all classrooms are set up to allow enough natural light and not all have access to alternative electricity generation capacity.
Technical and digital-based subjects which rely on electricity for experiments are affected by loadshedding, which may cause learners to fall behind on learning.
SADTU states that “the move towards a digital era in our schools is derailed and those that have begun to embrace it using electronic smart boards are disrupted”.
Boarding schools without generators are not able to feed nor teach the learners.
Schools become more vulnerable to vandalism and theft at night. Loadshedding causes a safety and health hazard to schools that use electricity generated water pumps.
Loadshedding also affects those who commute to and from school as it causes traffic delays and, therefore, causes both learners and teachers to arrive late to school.
Therefore, the union has appealed to school management to understand that due to traffic delays learners and teachers may arrive late.
The union requests circuits, districts, and provincial departments to help school management teams plan for alternative sources of energy.
SADTU urges the Basic Education Department to produce a strategy and plan to introduce and install green energy alternative supplies like solar energy to all schools which will not only benefit our education but contribute towards alleviating unemployment as a job creation strategy towards a just transition to a greener future.
“SOEs like Eskom need to be aided to perform optimally and, therefore, there should be consequence management for those failing to deliver. It is high time we start seeing those collapsing SOEs called to account as this may serve as a deterrent,” said SADTU.