Educators Union of SA provincial chairperson André de Bruyn demanded the immediate vaccination of the front line working teachers. Picture: African News Agency(ANA)
Educators Union of SA provincial chairperson André de Bruyn demanded the immediate vaccination of the front line working teachers. Picture: African News Agency(ANA)

Calls mount to give teachers priority in the Covid-19 vaccination roll-out

By Sisonke Mlamla Time of article published Jun 2, 2021

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Cape Town - Calls have mounted for teachers to be prioritised in the Covid-19 vaccination roll-out, as all primary school and special needs school learners have been directed to return to daily attendance and traditional timetables from July 26.

Progressive Principals’ Association spokesperson Anthea Adriaanse said teachers were classified as essential workers, yet not prioritised to receive the vaccine.

“We are expected to resume full capacity at schools, making us vulnerable targets with the increased numbers of not only learners but parents, and having to deal with that on a daily basis would put us at greater risk,” said Adriaanse.

Educators Union of SA provincial chairperson André de Bruyn demanded the immediate vaccination of the front line working teachers, those who put their lives on the line on a daily basis.

De Bruyn said they would not stop fighting for the improvement of working conditions for teachers and educational support staff.

Western Cape Education Department (WCED) spokesperson Bronagh Hammond said the WCED had been engaging with the provincial health Department with the possibility of tracking teacher vaccinations.

Hammond said the WCED had more than 5 900 teachers and institution and office-based staff who were over the age of 60, and had requested all of their staff’s support and assistance in communicating the registration drive to their teachers and staff members.

She said while teachers and staff members under 60 years were not included in that phase, they too had family members that may be within the category and would be future recipients of the vaccine.

“While there has been much speculation regarding the education sector as a priority group for vaccination, there has not been any official confirmation regarding this,” said Hammond.

She said they would communicate any new developments in that regard, but until then, they should all play a role in helping and encouraging one’s mother, father, grandfather, grandmother or friend, who are 60 years and above to register.

Equal Education Law Centre spokesperson Tad Khosa said all school employees should be prioritised for the simple reason that they have contact with learners that come from various communities.

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