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SADTU Backs Reopening of Schools

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learners in school classroom

Schools will be reopening next week Monday, following the Department of Basic Education's plan to vaccinate teachers. 

The South African Democratic Teachers Union (SADTU) is confident that majority of teachers will be protected against the virus when they return to teaching. 

The Department recently completed the vaccination rollout for the sector. When the rollout first started, the department aimed to vaccinate 582 000 staff by 8 July. 

However, things did not go according to plan as the rollout only came to an end on 14 July after the department faced some delays. 

SADTU spokesperson Nomusa Cembi said the union is satisfied with the progress the department made during the rollout, despite facing delays.

"Most had their personal reasons for not vaccinating, but more than 500 000 people in the education sector got vaccinated and we feel this is quite a good number and we feel that those who did not get vaccinated are in the minority." she said.

Cembi is also confident that schools are ready to reopen, while level 4 restrictions remain in place. 

School management teams and non-teaching staff will be the first to return to school on 22 July, as they will make sure schools are ready for the return of learners. 

Then on 26 July, learners in grades R to 12 will return for their first day back at school since closing early on 30 June. 

"We know we are still on level 4, there's a bit of hesitancy but we thought that because the vaccination has taken place, they'll feel more secure to go back to school" she explained. 

In a new gazette released on 15 July, the department revealed that schools will return to the traditional timetable model soon after schools reopen. 

This will apply to learners in grades 7 to 12, starting on 2 August 2021. Schools for learners with special needs will also be expected to return to the traditional timetable model on 2 August for learners in grades R to 12. 

"Educators must continue with teaching and learning from 26 July 2021, in accordance with the timetabling model adopted by the school, until 2 August 2021, from which date the return to the traditional and daily attendance timetabling model must be implemented.”

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