Teething problems hit Gauteng's back-to-school first day

The Gauteng province recorded about 85% of attendance of both learners and educators on the first day of schooling on Monday.
The Gauteng province recorded about 85% of attendance of both learners and educators on the first day of schooling on Monday.
Image: SAMORN TARAPAN/123rf.com

The Gauteng province recorded about 85% of attendance of both learners and educators on the first day of schooling on Monday.

This was announced by Gauteng education MEC Panyaza Lesufi while giving an update on the first day of schools. Lesufi said of the 2,084 schools in the province there were only nine schools that did not open as a result of vandalism and inadequate water and sanitation conditions.

 “Some principals had to close schools unilaterally due to misunderstanding on the availability of scanners or screeners. We did experience teething problems as some of the temperature scanners were not working and the matter was escalated to our intervention team  who managed to change the scanners. We also had to revert back to surgical masks as learners were not comfortable with the cloth masks,” Lesufi said.

Lesufi said all schools received personal protective equipment but some schools claimed that they had shortages, something that was escalated to the department.

“There was theft of PPEs that was reported in Orange Farm but  with the intervention of the police we managed to recover some of the PPEs. On scholar transport all grade 12 and 7 pupils who required scholar transport provided by the department through 212 contracted bus companies and owners were transported to schools,” he said.

Lesufi appealed to teachers with underlying conditions to comply with the guidelines and contact the school principal and district for clarity on whether their applications had been approved and not just to stay away.

“We  also had a number of teachers who did not attend claiming to have comorbidities but they had not applied to work from home. A number of teachers submitted medical reports without application or filing in sick leave.”

He said there were 38 schools that have been reported for Covid-19 and there were 39 pupils and teachers who tested positive for Covid-19 but the cases arose prior to schools re-opening for teachers. 

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