Minister of Basic Education Angie Motshekga was in the Northern Cape on Tuesday to monitor the vaccine rollout programme under the campaign, “Drop all and vaccinate!”.
The minister, together with the MEC for Education Zolile Monakali in the province visited the Warrenton Primary School vaccination site.
Motshekga encouraged all educators and support staff at schools to make use of this opportunity to vaccinate.
She said this will contribute immensely to create a safe and stable environment in our school.
The Northern Cape was one of the provinces that recorded one of the highest increases of Covid-19 infections at the schools.
Earlier this month, Monakali said the department recorded 264 new positive Covid-19 cases, which included educators, learners and support staff at schools in one week alone.
“These statistics are very concerning as they lead to the sporadic closure and reopening of schools, thus having a negative impact of valuable learning and teaching time,” he said at the time.
May saw the province close 79 schools for disinfection in the province.
Monakali said schools were observing all protocols in the province.
“There is social distancing. The schools have been disinfected and we all wear masks. The challenge that we are facing is that learners, educators and the support staff come from communities where big events are attended.
“They attend super spreader events and when they come to school, they infect and spread the virus,” he said.
During her campaign in the province, Motshekga made an appeal to teachers to use the vaccination drive programme to vaccinate.
“Many, many others want this opportunity that has been given [to educators]. It has been given to us. It is good for us, it is good for our learners and it is also good for communities,” said Motshekga.
She added: “We have to strive to make our environments safe places so that we don’t infect our learners.”
Motshekga said the education sector has lost a number of teachers to the pandemic, “we don’t want to lose any more,” she said.
“Despite the fact that the vaccine does not prevent you from being infected, it does reduce the risk of sickness in health. So it does some amount of protection, so it is worth it,” she said.