Teachers Union Calls For Support After Death Of Teachers Due To Covid-19

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Teachers Union, SADTU calls for funding to be allocated to psychosocial support for education workers after the mental and emotional strain they experienced over the last few years due to the Covid-19 pandemic. 


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Many lives were lost during the height of the Covid-19 pandemic and in her 2022/2023 budget vote speech, Basic Education Minister Angie Motshekga outlined the impact of Covid-19 on the education sector, stating that 3 300 teachers died due to Covid-19. 

South African Democratic Teachers Union (SADTU) spokesperson Xolani Fakude spoke to Newzroom Afrika saying that the 3 300 lives lost has had a big impact on the sector. 

"We should also bear in mind that these statistics are also only up until the 31st of December 2021, so you might find that the numbers have increased," said Fakude. 

He explains that these fatalities are occcuring on the background of other challenges faced in the education sector such as poor school infrastructure and the lack of emergency funding in education. 

Fakude says that all non-pharmaceutical interventions must be observed continuously in order to prevent the spread of the Covid-19. 

"The reality is as we speak numbers are beginning to increase again and we are already beginning to have issues of anxiety as education workers," said Fakude. 

SADTU feels as though the Department of Basic Education should have allocated more funding towards providing psychosocial support services in order to lift the morale of teachers across the country who have watched their colleagues suffer and die from Covid-19. 

Although the national government has not announced the fifth wave of Covid-19 in the country, Senior Researcher at the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR), Dr Ridhwaan Suliman says that South Africa entered a new wave of infections based on the number of new cases per 100 000 people and the test positivity rate. 

 


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