Many learners returned to school at the end of July following the end of their holiday break. With the return of learners, the Department of Basic Education (DBE) has made some changes for the new school term.
Learners in grades 1 to 7 have returned to the traditional timetable model, leaving behind the rotational timetable. This new timetable change means learners in these grades will be expected to attend classes everyday of the week.
“The return of primary school learners will enable recovery of learning and teaching time that was lost due to the recently extended school break. To assist in this endeavour, we call on all caregivers eligible for the vaccine to play their part and vaccinate as soon as possible,” said the DBE.
The return of learners follows the department's successful vaccine rollout which came to an end on 14 July.
The department managed to vaccinate 517 000 education staff after setting an initial target of 582 000.
"I think we have done very well. To be told that we have vaccinated more than 80 percent of our personnel in the sector, that is good news indeed. We did not expect 100 percent because of hesitancy and other factors but the numbers are high and we are pleased with the achievement." said Basic Education Minister Angie Motshekga.
Teachers who have not yet vaccinated have been urged to visit a vaccination centre near them as soon as they are able to.
Elijah Mhlanga, Basic Education spokesperson has clarified that while the department encourages all education staff to be vaccinated, teachers have the right to refuse the vaccine.
"The department says that it respects the rights of educators who opt not to be vaccinated on constitutional, religious, cultural, comorbidity or medical grounds,” Mhlanga explained.