By Kaya 959 News
The Department of Basic Education (DBE) has committed to vaccinating 582 000 teachers and support staff in the next two weeks.
DBE Minister, Angie Motshekga, urged school staff to register via the Electronic Vaccination Data System (EVDS) for their COVID-19 vaccines.
The roll-out is expected to begin on Wednesday this week, wrapping up by July 8.
“The vaccination is voluntary and no one will be forced to do it. However, teachers with comorbidities are requested to vaccinate in order to be protected,” she said.
Speaking at a media briefing on Saturday, Motshekga said her department appealed to the Cabinet for teachers to be prioritised and vaccines have since been secured.
“We have been working around the clock to finalise a plan for the vaccination of our staff,” she said.
Schools remain open
The DBE had also consulted with key stakeholders including teacher unions, school governing bodies, independent schools and the Council of Education to brief them on their vaccination plan.
She said all staff will be vaccinated, regardless of age, and teachers at both private and public schools will be vaccinated.
Motshekga confirmed that schools will remain open, despite parts of the country experiencing a massive spike in COVID cases.
She said the DBE will continue to handle all Covid-19 cases according to the differentiated strategy on a province by province, school by school basis.
“We believe that schools must remain open and in saying so we are not insensitive to the concerns raised about the rising infections,” she said.
“We will handle the matter case by case. People should not expect us to shut down the system,” Motshekga added.
She said already learning was majorly impacted last year after schools were forced to close in the wake of lockdown regulations.
Several schools in Gauteng have had to close last week after teachers and staff tested positive for Covid.