COVID-19 jabs for teachers will begin process of normalising schooling - DBE

The sector is gearing up for its vaccination drive, which will start on Wednesday in most of the country's provinces, targeting 582,000 teachers and support staff in the next two weeks.

The Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccine. Picture: Abigail Javier/Eyewitness News

JOHANNESBURG - The Basic Education Department said that it believed that the vaccination of teachers would begin the process of normalising schooling and mitigate the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on learning and teaching.

The sector is gearing up for its vaccination drive, which will start on Wednesday in most of the country's provinces, targeting 582,000 teachers and support staff in the next two weeks.

The department has urged teachers to ignore calls of a stay away amid fears of the third wave which has gripped the country.

From Wednesday, the first group of teachers will get inoculated across the country at over 200 vaccination sites that have been set up, bringing some hope to the sector that has been one of the hardest hit by COVID-19.

In Gauteng, the vaccination programme is aimed at over 125,000 employees.

The Gauteng Education Department's Steve Mabona: "This will be taking place in about 46 vaccination sites in the regions in Gauteng."

Meanwhile, the Basic Education Department's Elijah Mhlanga has stressed that while vaccinations were not compulsory, the sector needed to work hard to ensure as many people got the jab.

"Please stay close to your school's district offices because there will be communication coming your way," Mhlanga said.

Following calls by the Educators' Union of South Africa for the temporary closure of schools amid the third wave, the department has encouraged teachers to continue reporting for duty, saying that this would contribute to the successful implementation of the vaccination programme.

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