Over the last few weeks, the Department for Basic Education’s vaccination rollout plan has been in full swing, with more than 333 000 teachers and support staff vaccinated since June 23.
However, with teachers expected to report for duty on July 19, the Department has expressed concern regarding educators who have opted not to vaccinate. According to IOL, teachers will be required to present a plan of action as to how they will protect themselves, learners and fellow teachers in the workplace from COVID-19.
The rollout plan is expected to continue until July 8, but while the third wave is expected to hit its peak with the new Delta variant wreaking havoc in South Africa, a number of teachers have refused to be vaccinated, with some attributing this to fear or myths around the vaccine, reports IOL.
While teachers are not forced to take the vaccine, the Department has announced that primary schools will be going back to daily attendance from the third term as they prioritise in-classroom learning which could put learners at risk.
As such, The spokesperson for the Department of Basic Education, Elijah Mhlanga, has urged teachers and support staff to get vaccinated.
“We call on those who have not received their injections to proceed to the vaccination site and get vaccinated as soon as possible. The Department of Basic Education is in its final week of vaccinating everyone in this sector.”
Mhlanga stated that the Department was still discussing the next steps regarding educators who have refused vaccination, as working from home and listing medical conditions is not an option.
“The matter is still being discussed in the sector. There is no decision as yet on what steps will be taken,” he said.
With the third wave currently causing chaos in the Gauteng province, the Gauteng Education Department has communicated their concerns as nearly 10 000 education staff have refused to be vaccinated, reports EWN. The Western Cape Education Department has reiterated the importance of educators and support staff being vaccinated.