The Department of Basic Education has summoned all teachers who were granted permission to work from home to report for duty today. Picture: Ayanda Ndamane/African News Agency(ANA)
The Department of Basic Education has summoned all teachers who were granted permission to work from home to report for duty today. Picture: Ayanda Ndamane/African News Agency(ANA)

Teachers working from home amid Covid-19 pandemic, now summoned to report for duty

By Sisonke Mlamla Time of article published Sep 21, 2020

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Cape Town - The Department of Basic Education (DBE) has summoned all teachers who were granted permission to work from home due to Covid-19 to report for duty today.

Department spokesperson Elijah Mhlanga said more than 22 500 teachers were granted approval for concession countrywide in terms of collective agreement 1 of 2020.

Mhlanga said the agreement was aimed at providing a concession for educators employed in terms of the Employment of Educators Act No 78 of 1998 (EEA), who were affected due to risk factors of severe Covid-19.

He said President Cyril Ramaphosa on Wednesday announced that the country would move to alert level 1 at midnight last night.

Level 1 is defined as a low level of infections together with a high level of health system readiness.

He said since the country had gone down to alert level 1, the risk had dropped to low, hence the risk for those teachers had reduced considerably.

“The affected people will therefore have to report for duty with effect from today. If, however, some individuals are still not well, they are advised to follow the normal sick leave protocols.”

Western Cape Education Department (WCED) spokesperson Bronagh Hammond said the regulations governing alert level 1 had yet to be gazetted and the WCED had not yet received any formal communication on the matter.

Hammond said the head of department therefore wrote to all principals and teachers indicating that the WCED had decided that all affected staff members (teachers and non-teaching staff) who had been granted such a concession to work from home temporarily, must now return to work as required.

But in the interests of reasonableness, it was decided that all such staff members must be back at work by no later than Monday, September 28.

“Schools were also informed that teaching assistants that had been employed temporarily to assist teachers with comorbidities would have their contracts terminated on September 30, as was communicated previously with regards to the downgrade to level 1,” she said.

Cape Argus

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