With vaccines available, teachers hope to see more pupils back in class

Basic Education Minister Angie Motshekga is expected to hold a media briefing on Tuesday morning regarding the opening of schools for this year.

Picture: @ECDOEZA/Twitter

JOHANNESBURG - With children returning to inland schools on Wednesday, teachers are hoping to see more pupils back in the classroom with children 12 and older eligible to get a COVID-12 vaccine.

Basic Education Minister Angie Motshekga is expected to hold a media briefing on Tuesday morning regarding the opening of schools for this year.

Teachers and high school pupils are eligible to get a jab, which could have an impact on staff and the attendance of pupils.

Educators and staff are now eligible for a Johnson & Johnson booster shot as they were one of the first groups to receive a COVID-19 vaccine in winter last year.

Despite government's efforts to get teachers vaccinated and to minimise the impact on the academic year, some teachers are still not jabbed.

Basil Manuel is from Naptosa ( National Professional Teachers' Organisation of South Africa) and represents teachers in the sector.

He said that they were hoping that with children now eligible to get a COVID-19 jab, the environment would be safer and schools won't be disrupted like previous pandemic years.

"We have had rotational learning for good reason, however, the losses are so great that we need to be doing something different and this is the right time to be considering the return of a greater number of learners to school," Manuel said.

While there is great excitement about the new school year, last year's matric pupils are eagerly waiting their final results.