Dept Aims To Finish Teacher Vaccinations By 8 July

The Teacher vaccination rollout is now in it's second week with all school staff being inoculated. The sector's goal is to vaccinate 582 000 people by 8 July.

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The Department of Basic Education (DBE) aims to have the teacher vaccinations be completed by 8 July with it now being in it's second week.

The Department released a new edition of the DBE TV News Bulletin which gives updates from within the sector for the past week.

For day 1 on 23 June, over 48 000 educators received their Covid-19 jab and now, over 200 000 have been done. There are around 300 vaccination sites in the country for educators.

It's not only teachers who are being vaccinated but all school staff, even those who transport children, those who work in school tuckshops and school feeding schemes, those who do remote learning programmes, security and cleaners.

No school staff member is being forced to take vaccine but it is of course recommended. Even though schools are closing on 30 June, vaccinations for school staff will continue. 

The following individuals not be able to get their vaccine:

  • If you had Covid in the past 30 days
  • If you've already been vaccinated
  • If you received a flu vaccine in the past 14 days

Minister of Basic Education, Angie Motshekga, said:

For the next 10 to 14 days, we plan to have almost 582 000 people in the sector vaccinated.

If you are on the school database, your information is immediately on the vaccination registration system.

The South African Democratic Teachers Union (SADTU) was one of the many unions and organisations who were calling for teachers to prioritised in the vaccine rollout has welcomed the commencement of it.

SADTU has however brought up the issue of the rotational programme saying that it's taking it's toll on teachers because learners are not remembering what they previously learned.

The Union's General Secretary said:

Teachers are going through depression and most of them are beginning to show that particular fatigue in education and therefore we found it is important to vaccinate teachers.

They are however concerned that if teachers are not seen as frontline workers, schools will close and the curriculum won't fully be covered.

Surveys showed that 75% of teachers were willing to take the vaccine and work is being done to share correct information and have those who were not willing to take it change their mind.

The National Professional Teachers' Organisation of South Africa (NAPTOSA) has said that they hope all goes well but that concerns remain.

Department partnered with Uber to provide free rides for educators needing to get vaccinated. Uber's General Manager for Sub-Saharan Africa said:

We know that teachers are the backbone of society and we really wanted to do our part to make sure that transport is not a barrier between somebody getting vaccinated in South Africa.

Uber will pay for the full trip and teachers are given a discount code for two trips, to and from the vaccination site, capped at R150.

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