News24 Wire
Wire Service
2 minute read
20 Jun 2021
9:46 am

‘Please go get your Covid jabs,’ WC education dept urges teachers

News24 Wire

Basic Education Minister Angie Motshekga announced this weekend that teachers would be vaccinated from Wednesday onwards.

Charlotte Maxeke Johannesburg Academic Hospital senior nurse May Khumalo vaccinates a man at Assembly Hall in Parktown, Johannesburg. Picture: Nigel Sibanda

The Western Cape education department has urged teachers in the province to participate in the Covid-19 vaccine rollout and get their jabs to make schools safer.

This follows an announcement by Basic Education Minister Angie Motshekga that teachers would be vaccinated from Wednesday onwards.

Briefing the media in Pretoria about the impact of Covid-19 at schools on Saturday, Motshekga said all teachers were expected to get the vaccine by the time the winter school holidays started.

Welcoming the announcement, Western Cape Education MEC Debbie Schafer said vaccinating staff would reduce the risk of them becoming seriously ill and make schools safer, which would allow all schools to return to a normal timetable.

“The department welcomes the announcement by the minister of basic education that the rollout of the Johnson & Johnson (J&J) single dose Covid-19 vaccine for all education sector staff will begin in the coming week,” she added in a statement.

“I urge all our staff to participate to assist in making our schools safer and getting back to some semblance of normality,” Schafer said.

Vaccinations are expected to begin on 23 June and end on 8 July, a day before schools close to mark the end of the second term.

A total of 582 000 teachers nationally are expected to be vaccinated within the two-week period.

The department said as of Monday, 14 June, it had recorded 148 active cases among staff at schools, while as of Friday, 18 June, 546 active pupil cases were reported by schools.

“On the 9th of June, our head of department wrote to all schools advising them of the vaccination plan, including a circular on the preparations for the rollout,” Schafer said.

She added the Department of Health had identified specific vaccination sites for the education sector, and districts would communicate the arrangements directly to schools about designated sites.

The education department’s superintendent-general, Brent Walters, said the department was extremely pleased with the rollout of vaccines to the education sector.

“This sector has suffered great learning losses over the past 15 months and this could be felt for years to come.”

Walter added the rollout was a major step to recovery in the provision of better learning for pupils.