11 teachers and 3 learners have died of Covid-19

a school classroom.

Grades 6 and 11 returned to schools on Monday and more learners are expected to re-join school by next month. Photo: Matthew Jordaan

Covid-19 has claimed the lives of 11 teachers and 3 learners since the pandemic first broke out in South Africa.

Basic Education Minister Angie Motshekga said on Sunday that 2 740 teachers have been infected with the coronavirus since schools reopened last month. This is less than 1 percent of the total number of people employed in the sector.

According to IOL, there were 1 260 reported infections among learners and the highest number of infections were from the Western Cape, Gauteng and Eastern Cape.

Of all those known to have been infected, 11 teachers and three learners have died nationwide.

Since the reopening of schools, 968 out of 26 000 schools (4 percent) that opened were forced to close temporarily again 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.

Grades 6 and 11 returned to schools today, and more learners are expected to go back by next month.

Motshekga said her department obtained advice from scientists, medical and other experts which informs all decisions taken. 

According to reports, most of the provincial education MECs informed the public that their provinces were ready to accept the learners on Monday, July 6.

However, the state of four provinces  – KZN, Limpopo, North West and Mpumalanga – remains a concern.

“We expressed concerns to the DBE (Department of Basic Education) on the basis of the data that we collected recently on the pressure of the returning of all the targeted grades.

“We also expressed concerns about the state of readiness in five provinces. We alerted DBE to pay attention to a number of aspects which were pulling down from the risk profile.”