WATCH: Teacher shares COVID-19 fears as schools prepare to reopen

While pupils will have to wait another week to go to school, teachers are back. Masego Rahlaga spoke to a teacher from Johannesburg. Courtesy #DStv403

JOHANNESBURG - While pupils will have to wait another week to go to school, teachers are back.

Grade 7 and 12 pupils were expected to return on Monday after spending ten weeks at home, but some schools said they weren't ready.

Gauteng, however, has been rearing to go.

READ: Motshekga outlines reasons for delaying reopening of schools

isiZulu teacher Xolani Buthelezi reflected on how difficult 2020 has been.

Buthelezi says he has missed interacting with his pupils but he fears for their lives, as well as his own and those of his colleagues.

“Definitely, I am scared. I will not make myself the boss of the road and say that I am not scared.

"I am scared because this is a new thing that we are experiencing as a country. And even now, as we have to go back to teaching… we are not comfortable because this is a different situation”.

WATCH: Basic Education Minister gives clarity on readiness to reopen schools

Buthelezi says he is also prepared to join those on the frontline.

“Now because of this pandemic, it’s very scary for us. But there is nothing we can do, but we must come to work," he said.

"We will sacrifice our lives because at the end of the day we need the salary because it’s the way we make a living and support our families.

"We are in a new society where if you are uneducated, you are nothing. So, we must encourage these young ones. This pandemic is a global crisis. But we can just stand there. We must sacrifice and take that risk”.

READ: SAHRC takes Western Cape to court over reopening of schools

Teacher unions have encouraged their members not to return for duty unless proper Personal Protective Equipment is made available to them.

Unions also say no school should open its doors until all schools are ready.

Classrooms at schools across the country have been empty since mid-March.

Teachers are expected to receive pupils next Monday if everything goes according to plan.

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