Home | News | DEC 13: SNAT INSISTS TEACHERS SHOULD STAY HOME, ADVISES PARENTS AGAINST SENDING CHILDREN TO SCHOOL

DEC 13: SNAT INSISTS TEACHERS SHOULD STAY HOME, ADVISES PARENTS AGAINST SENDING CHILDREN TO SCHOOL

Font size: Decrease font Enlarge font

MANZINI – SNAT has advised teachers to stay at home for their safety.

The Swaziland National Association of Teachers (SNAT) Secretary General (SG), Lot Vilakati, said teachers should invoke Section 18 (2) of the Occupational Health and Safety Act No.9 of 2001, which says; ‘‘An employee shall have the right to remove himself or herself from danger when such an employee has reasonable justification to believe there is imminent and serious risk to the safety and health of that employee.’’

Safe

Vilakati said this was because it would not be safe for them to go to work when there would be no transport on Tuesday and Wednesday. He said teachers did not have money for fuel and most of them relied on public transport. On the two days, according to Vilakati, they would not walk to school because they had seen in previous instances that when public transport workers did not work, government usually deployed members of the State security organs across the country, including on the streets.

The SG said most of the time, the members of the State security organs clashed with either the protesters or members of the public and in most instances, they fired tear gas or shot them. “So, if teachers can walk to school, they will be exposing themselves to the danger of being caught in the crossfire,” the SG said. He also sent a warning to parents that on Tuesday and Wednesday, teachers would not go to school.

He said parents should use their discretion whether to send their children to school or not. In that regard, he said if they decided to send their children to school on those two days and something bad happened, they should not bother asking teachers about it.

“As teachers, we are also parents and we will not send our children to school. Instead, we will sit with them at home,” Vilakati said. It is worth noting that it has become a norm that the Ministry of Public Service would insist that the no-work, no-pay principle would be effected on those who absented themselves on a normal working day.

Questions

However, an effort to establish if this would apply on Tuesday and Wednesday, was unsuccessful. The Minister of Public Service, Mabulala Maseko, referred questions to the Acting Principal Secretary, Richard Phungwayo. However, the acting principal secretary’s phone rang unanswered. Also, a questionnaire sent to him via WhatsApp had not been responded to at the time of compiling this report. Phungwayo had been asked if government would effect the no-work, no-pay rule on civil servants who would not report for work on the two days.