Concerns about the safety of schools, teachers, and Covid-19 vaccines continue to grow as cases increase.
Elementary Education Minister Angie Motshekga said over the weekend that the introduction of the vaccine for teachers will start on Wednesday and last until July 8th.
Plans for rollout come amid calls for the Elementary Education Department to close schools due to the surge in Covid-19 cases in the country.
Here’s what you do need to know:
More than 500,000 teachers will be vaccinated by July 8th
Motshekga said 582,000 people will be vaccinated over the next few weeks.
She said the vaccination program will include staff transporting children to and from schools and staff who will Support school feeding programs, staff who conduct distance learning programs (TV and radio), staff from teachers’ unions and other contract workers who take on security, cleaning and other duties in schools men.
She said vaccination was voluntary, but “highly recommended so that everyone c and are protected.”
” For the next two weeks we are calling on our school communities to “drop everything and vaccinate”. To be able to successfully complete this program, we have to keep the schools open, “said Motshekga.
” Interruptions would be undesirable. Vaccinating everyone in this sector is an opportunity to normalize schooling and start the process of mitigating the effects of Covid-19. “
Schools remain open
Motshekga said schools would remain open and the decision was made based on advice from the medical community and public health experts.
She said school closings are handled from school to school.
“We believe schools need to stay open, and that’s what we say so that we are not insensitive to concerns about rising infections. The position is that we continue to treat Covid-19 cases according to the differentiated strategy from province to province, from school to school, “said Motshekga.
While there were disruptions in the sector, the majority of schools remained fairly stable.
About 100 out of more than 25,500 schools in the sector were disrupted. Motshekga emphasized that 25,400 schools are stable.
Vows to close schools
Am Sunday, the SA teachers’ union promised to physically close schools if the department does not close them.
Speaking to eNCA, union spokesman Kabelo Mahlobogwane said Motshekga’s decision, the schools open showed that they did not care about the lives of teachers and students.
Mahlobogwane said the union would call for teachers to be dismissed on Monday, and if so the schools would still be open at the end of the week if the union closed them.
“We will physically close schools and work with community organizations that we have consulted with. We’re giving the minister a week, ”he said.
The class change is a“ disaster ”for children, say experts
Sunday Times reported that education experts have warned against regular student visits, saying it was “a disaster that will have significant long-term negative consequences for children”.
According to the Federal Gazette, primary school pupils and all pupils with special educational needs will go back to school with “teachers alternating between lessons” from July 26th.
Der Stellenbosch University researcher Nic Spaull told the Sunday Times that a rotating timetable would lead to learning losses.
“If the department does nothing, we could potentially be a lost generation in have our hands, ”he said.
say earlier this month te EFF boss Julius Malema that schools should be closed protecting students at all costs in the face of the increasing number of Covid-19 cases in the country.
“Schools need immediate Close effect because our children will die, “said Malema.
” We are giving the minister seven days to close schools because we are not allowing our children to die . Private schools need to lead this campaign because they have the ability to teach online. Let our children be safe. ”