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Compiled by Vhahangwele Nemakonde

Digital Deputy News Editor

Teacher collapses and passes away on Gauteng school premises

Police are investigating the circumstances surrounding the incident.

The Gauteng Department of Education has suffered another blow after a teacher from Bophelong Secondary School in Vanderbijlpark collapsed and died at the school on Thursday.

According to Gauteng Education MEC Matome Chiloane, the teacher reported to work on Thursday morning and passed by the principal’s office to greet him.

ALSO READ: Teachers sit unemployed as over 31 000 teaching posts lie vacant (VIDEO)

“However, as the staff morning meeting was about to commence, he was not there. The school’s administrator allegedly found the teacher laying down next to his car,” said Chiloane on Friday.

Emergency services were contacted for assistance and the teacher was declared dead upon their arrival.

Police are investigating the circumstances surrounding the incident.

“Our PsychoSocial Support Team will be extending counselling services to all staff and pupils who may be affected by this unfortunate incident,” said Chiloane.

ALSO READ: Pupil who shot principal targeted other teachers as well – Gauteng Education MEC

“We are devastated by the passing of one of our teachers and wish to convey our sincere condolences to his family and school community.”

Teacher protests

In Mpumalanga, some schools in Hazyview were closed as teachers staged a protest at the Department of Education’s White Hazy Circuit.

According to Cosatu, the teachers were calling on the department to strengthen security in schools amid a spate of criminal attacks on them and pupils.

“We want schools to be taken as business entities. We want them to hire security. We want cameras at the schools. We don’t have safety there, people can just get in and out,” said the teachers in protest.

However, provincial Department of Education spokesperson Jasper Zwane said arming security guards at school would place them at a higher risk.

ALSO READ: Safety of our teachers is vital

“Once we do that, once they’re armed they become vulnerable – soft targets. We have seen that happening, for instance in Mariti we went there, we had community engagements and since then, there is stability. It takes the community to teach a child,” Zwane told SABC.

This happens as Basic Education Minister Angie Motshekga reveals in a recent parliamentary response that there are more than 31 400 vacant teaching posts at schools across the country.

KwaZulu-Natal has the largest amount of teacher vacancies, with 7 044, followed by the Eastern Cape at 6 111.

The Northern Cape has the least vacancies with 726.

Gauteng has 3 898 vacancies, while the Western Cape has 4 497 vacancies.

WATCH: Mpumalanga teachers protest over safety issues at schools

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