4,000 Gauteng teachers not yet ready to return to work, says MEC Lesufi

Thousands of pupils went back to the classroom on Monday for the start of the third term.

MEC Panyaza Lesufi. Picture: Panyaza Lesufi/Twitter

JOHANNESBURG - As the education sector works to salvage what’s left of the 2021 academic calendar, Gauteng MEC Panyaza Lesufi said about 4,000 teachers were not ready to return to work.

Thousands of pupils went back to the classroom on Monday for the start of the third term.

Schools were forced to close early last month for the winter holidays due to the third wave of COVID-19 infections.

READ MORE: ‘Jabs save lives’ - Gauteng Educ Dept alarmed as 9,000 teachers refuse vaccines

MEC Panyaza Lesufi said despite encountering some challenges, 98% of students studying were ready for the full return of primary school pupils to the classroom from next week.

Lesufi, however, said that only 93% of teachers had been able to come back to work. He said that the remaining 7% had not been able to get vaccinated, citing various reasons including having underlying health conditions and vaccine hesitancy.

“Personnel is dealing with that matter on our behalf. Whether I should take drastic measures or not, I am not of that view, I feel that we should persuade until everyone accepts. That was the best way to protect the sector,” Lesufi said.

Lesufi said that the province was also working to address infrastructure problems at schools, including the provision of mobile classrooms as primary school pupils prepared to return to daily classes.

Download the Eyewitness News app to your iOS or Android device.