Further Closures Could Set Back Schools, Says Motshekga

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While the country battles the third wave, there remains a possibility that schools all over the country will be affected. 
Schools closed early for winter break on Wednesday 30 June, but this break could last longer than intended. 
Basic Education Minister, Angie Motshekga said if the third wave results in the closure of schools, it will be devastating for the department. 
The Minister said there has been no official confirmation yet that schools will close after the break, so the department will continue to go ahead as planned. 
“We will still keep it (the date) as we had agreed. But we will not be irresponsible if there are still difficulties by the time we want to open and bring more learners,” 
“We will take the decision close to the time if we want to change. But for now we are not changing any of the plans.” she told the Sunday Times.
Schools are set to remain closed until 11 July, in line with the President's announcement of the level 4 lockdown period. 
During this time, schools will continue to vaccinate teachers, as the Department of Basic Education aims to vaccinate over 580 000 educators and staff. 
Minister Motshekga is confident that the department will be able to do this without running into any vaccine shortages. 
“Last week when we received the first 300 000 doses, we requested provinces to plan for the roll-out of the 300 000 vaccines. Now the Department of Health has assured us that all the vaccines we requested have arrived and that there will not be any shortages,” the Minister said.
All educators and school staff have been encouraged to accept the vaccine, as the department tries to keep all staff and learners protected.
“I really want to encourage our teachers to take this opportunity to vaccinate. We have to try make our schools safer places so that we don’t infect learners and that they don’t infect us but also make sure that as educators and staff we are protected. We have lost a number of educators and we don’t want to lose anyone of us,” the Minister said.
 

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