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Covid challenges keep coming: Almost 1,000 Gauteng teachers apply for comorbidity leave

26 June 2020 - 07:33 By Yoliswa Sobuwa
Almost 1,000 Gauteng teachers have applied for leave due to having comorbidities.
Almost 1,000 Gauteng teachers have applied for leave due to having comorbidities.
Image: www.pixabay.com

The Gauteng department of education says the growing number of Covid-19 cases are an emerging risk challenge as it impacts on school closures.

There are 188 teachers and 58 pupils who have tested positive for the virus. This was reported during the command council’s weekly media update on Covid-19, reports SowetanLIVE.

“Also the high number of applications for comorbidity leave [from teachers] is an emerging risk challenge as this could affect available teaching capacity. The department has received close to 1,000 applications across the province. There are also emerging infrastructure issues,” Lesufi said.

He said 176 schools were affected. The department reported that the majority of schools have opened, however four schools could not reopen due to infrastructure problems.

“A small minority of schools remain closed or have had to close after initial reopening due to lacking infrastructure requirements affecting Covid compliance. Reported Covid-19 cases necessitating closure for decontamination and schools badly damaged or vandalised during lockdown or since the official reopening,” Lesufi said.

The department said other critical factors affecting stability and functionality were the community disruptions linked to contracts for personal protection equipment (PPE).

“Communities resisting deployment of brigades from other communities and health sector interventions on school closure protocols also contributed to the stability and functionality of schools,” he said.

Lesufi said the department’s next step was the resumption of curriculum implementation and monitoring and also planning for July 6 for the return of additional grades as per the risk-adjusted strategy.