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WCED to focus on mental health of teachers & pupils amid COVID-19

Grade 7s and matrics returned to school at the start of the month and other grades would be phased in during July and August.

Grade 7 pupils at Westlake Primary School in the Western Cape on 1 June 2020 line up for screening before they enter the school. Picture: @WCEDnews/Twitter.

CAPE TOWN - The Western Cape Education Department (WCED) is placing a key focus on the mental health of teachers and pupils.

Grade 7s and matrics returned to school at the start of the month and other grades would be phased in during July and August.

The WCED addressed the media on Thursday morning and revealed 98 teachers had since tested positive for COVID-19.

Provincial education department head Brian Schreuder said they were trying to make sure teachers remained positive.

“The one thing that I’m worried about is noticing the anxiety among our teachers, that teachers might portray that anxiety onto the kids and so impact on the mental health of kids. And therefore, we are going to be doing lots of work in engaging in the wellness of our teachers,” Schreuder said.

There was a health and wellness service available to all teachers free of charge 24/7.

A doctor at the Red Cross War Memorial Children’s Hospital, Mignon McCulloch, said it was equally important to prioritise the mental health of children.

“It’s important to ensure that teachers are well because often teachers are the voices of the children,” McCulloch said.

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