Cape Town – Eleven teachers and 3 pupils have died nationally since the start of the Covid-19 pandemic, Basic Education Minister Angie said on Sunday. Motshekga also said that 2 740 teachers (less than 1 percent of the total number employed in the sector) have been infected with the coronavirus since schools reopened last month.
Among learners, there were 1 260 reported infections. This translate to less than 1 percent of learners, Motshekga said, stressing that the highest number of infections were from the Western Cape, Gauteng and Eastern Cape.
The minister made the statement during an announcement on her department’s readiness to phase in more grades from Monday. She stressed that the rise in coronavirus cases nationally are being mirrored in schools.
Since the reopening of schools on June 8, 968 out of 26 000 schools, or 4 percent, which re-opened had been forced to close temporarily due to Covid-19 cases, Motshekga said.
“They lost three to four days of school which would mean they enjoyed four weeks of schooling,” Motshekga said.
Motshekga stressed that most schools remained “stable”.
The amendments to the National Disaster Management Act which were gazetted last month make provision for the phased return of multiple grades to return to school on July 6, provided all safety protocols were observed.
Motshekga said that her department obtained advice from scientists, medical and other experts which informs all decisions taken. On July 2, the department met to discuss comprehensive reports from the research consortium led by National Education Collaboration Trust, Rand Water, national teacher organisations and other stakeholders which, according to Motshekga, “painted a clare picture” of the Covid-19 landscape.