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Article by: Dumisane Dube

The Basic Department of Education has reported that over 3000 teachers pulled out of the marking process because of COVID-19 related reasons, adding that close to 300 teachers have tested positive.

Basic Education Deputy Minister, Reginah Mhaule, said that funerals are the main super-spreader events at which teachers are getting the virus from.

According to the deputy minister, some of the teachers who were responsible for marking have passed away while others have pulled out of the marking process because of anxiety and family members testing positive.

‘’In the majority of cases, the educators indicated that they attended funerals and ceremonies attended by big groups of people resulting in gatherings not monitored for compliance with the health protocols”, explains Mhaule.

 “Management teams will report to schools 15 days before learners, to check on whether they have enough teachers to start the year’’ added Mhaula.

She highlighted that the Basic Department of Education will work closely with all the nine provinces to establish the true extent of the impact of the virus resulting from unfortunate demise of educators, workers and leaders in the sector especially during the December/January holidays.

The deputy minister was addressing the media in Pretoria where she announced the postponement of the reopening of 2021 classes.

She concluded by saying the lives of teachers and learners should be protected.

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