The Basic Education Department says it is in talks with the Health Department in a bid get teachers vaccinated ahead of the return of primary school pupils to daily classroom attendance. From 26 July, pupils from grades R to 7, including those from schools for children with special needs, would be returning to class under the traditional timetable.
With an imminent third wave of COVID-19 infections, teacher unions were calling for their members to be recognised as a priority group so that they could be vaccinated ahead of the return of pupils.
The Basic Education Department’s Elijah Mhlanga said that with just two months left until primary school pupils returned to daily attendance, work was under way to ensure that teachers were vaccinated.
“We believe that it is about time that they get their vaccines especially those that are at primary school level,” said Mhlanga.
At the same time, Naptosa’s Basil Manuel said that while pupils needed to catch up on work lost due to the pandemic, the health and safety of educators was paramount.
“We’re happy to hear that the department is supporting that wholeheartedly and we hope that the powers that be in the Health Department start heeding our call,” he said.