Motshekga urges teachers, pupils to get jabbed, as full-time schooling returns

Children will be heading back on a full-time basis after last week's Cabinet decision ended rotational learning.

Basic Education Minister Angie Motshekga hosted the top achievers at a breakfast session at the Houghton Hotel on 20 January 2021. Picture: Xanderleigh Dookey Makhaza/Eyewitness News

JOHANNESBURG - As schools across the country return to full attendance on Monday morning, Basic Education Minister Angie Motshekga is urging all teachers and eligible pupils to get their COVID-19 jab.

Children will be heading back on a full-time basis after last week's Cabinet decision ended rotational learning.

The minister has assured parents and guardians that provinces had prepared to accommodate all returning pupils.

Following pressure to align regulations with the current state of the coronavirus pandemic, pupils can now return to school full-time, meaning that life will start to return to normal for the young people who have been hard-hit by the lockdown.

Speaking at a media briefing in Pretoria on Sunday, Motshekga said that pupils had lost over two years of meaningful learning time.

Motshekga said that the key to recovery was to prevent further disruptions at schools.

“We do want everyone in the sector to vaccinate because we're told that, of the 7.7 million qualifying pupils, 1.2 million have been vaccinated and in the past 24 hours, 15,000 young people have been vaccinated. But we call on parents to encourage young people to qualify to go for vaccination,” Motshekga said.

The minister said that vaccination would also quell fears of surging infections as classes could once again become overcrowded in some schools.

The department said that it would also be rolling out curriculum recovery plans to make up for the time lost.