Schools Could See Shortage Of Teachers In 2020

As Covid-19 cases have increased in South Africa, there is a concern for the large number of teachers who have been infected and have lost their lives due to the coronavirus. 

South Africa has recently surpassed one million Covid-19 cases and lots of citizens around the country have been losing family members due to the coronavirus. 

The new variant of the coronavirus coupled with the increased gatherings which occurred over the festive season is said to have been driving the infections in the country. 

Attention has been placed particularly on teachers as they are essential workers who are needed in classrooms next year.

The Department of Basic Education has expressed concern about the increasing number of coronavirus infections and deaths involving teachers this festive season. They are concerned about how this may affect the new school year. 

The Department of Basic Education's spokesperson, Elijah Mhlanga, said the following on Twitter:

"We took a decision to avoid attending a family funeral in KZN 2 weeks ago. Uncle's wife is a teacher. Since the funeral 3 people (all teachers) who attended to support have passed away due to COVID-19, others battling in hospital as many more were infected at the same event. "

"Five days ago I got information that 14 teachers had passed away within 24 hours, yesterday 18 teachers reported to have died also from COVID-19, 32 teachers in less than a week all gone, from a single province that's reporting. The grieving over these holidays is too much."

At this rate we have a massive problem ahead of us when schools reopen. Schools might not have teachers as a direct result of COVID-19.

Mhlanga says drastic action is needed to avoid 'a massive disaster' as people have not been complying with the health and safety regulations that need to be adhered to in public and social spaces. 

Mhlanga has made these comments after President Cyril Ramaphosa held a meeting on Sunday with the National Coronavirus Command Council (NCCC) after the country surpassed the one million mark for Covid-19 cases. 

Mhlanga says that the measures put in place in schools helped to reduce the number of infections as they were strict with having everybody comply with the Covid-19 protocols at schools. 

At marking centres Mhlanga says that the DBE is taking health and safety very seriously and that the Director General has visited these centres to make sure that there is strict adherence to health and safety regulations. 

The Department of Health is urging all South Africans to continue wearing masks, social distancing and washing their hands. Avoiding social gatherings and large crowds as far as possible will also help to slow the spread of the virus. 

The President is set to make a national address to the public soon. 

 

 

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