Calls to prioritise teachers in the COVID-19 vaccine roll-out is supported by basic education minister Angie Motshekga, who says that the vaccination of teachers and other frontline workers such as the SA Police Service will depend on the availability of vaccines.
Motshekga expressed her support by saying: “The minister of health has committed that as soon as he gets certainty regarding the availability of the vaccines, he will prioritise front-line workers. Whether it’s on a certain date in June, we hope so, but I can’t commit myself here and say we have agreed on this date with the minister.
“I’ve raised the issue with the minister of health and the cabinet is very supportive. There are plans to make sure that not only teachers but all front-line workers, your teachers, police, and home affairs people are being prioritised.”
According to IOL, the Equal Education Law Centre spokesperson, Tad Khosa, said that school employees should be a matter of priority for the reason that they are in direct contact with learners from different communities.
These sentiments were echoed by Basil Manuel of The National Professional Teachers’ Organisation of SA (Naptosa), and as TimesLive reports, Manuel communicated that teachers were at a higher risk because of dealing with large numbers of people daily.
“The vaccination of teachers will serve more than one purpose. Vaccinating teachers will encourage other people to join the queue because we are community leaders. The vaccination of teachers settles the mind of parents”, he concludes.