Minister Says Further Closure of Schools Would Be Devastating

The Minister of Basic Education (DBE) Angie Motshekga shares her frustrations as the Covid-19 pandemic threatens to close-down school continuity. Motshekga spoke on her provincial monitoring visits for vaccine-rollout programme at schools aimed to vaccinate teachers countrywide.

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Department of Basic Education (DBE) Minister Motshekga voiced her concerns citing the devastating effect the Covid-19 pandemic had in schools' progress during the 2020 academic year and how it could further delay the reopening of schools.

“We are on a differentiated timetable, very disruptive and unproductive, it will really be a serious setback for us. But saving lives is more important than anything else, we will be guided by health professionals”, Motshekga said.

The battle of the third wave continues to take it's toll on schools, as there is no guarantee whether the schools will reopen on the 19 July 2021 according to the schooling year calendar. The DBE is now in it's second week since the launch of the teacher’s vaccination programme started on the 23rd of June 2021.  

The call for the closure of schools came after President Cyril Ramaphosa responded with alert level 4 lockdown of Covid-19 restrictions on Sunday. Though the Minister stated that the closure of schools will not halt the vaccine-rollout programme to vaccinate teachers, students will suffer as a result.

Motshekga encouraged teachers to avail themselves for the vaccination programme at schools in order to succeed in their deadline chase.

The announcement to close-down schools follows the resurgence of Covid-19 infections in the Gauteng province which slowly affected other provinces. The vaccination of teachers is a victory for unions who have been calling for teacher vaccinations from the start.

The DBE aims to vaccinate 580 000 teachers by 8 July 2021 in order to meet it's target chase. Schools closed on 30 June 2021 for a Holiday recess as the vaccination of teachers continues countrywide.

 

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