The Gauteng Department of Education has to appoint 3,620 new teachers due to the Covid-19 pandemic.
So said Panyaza Lesufi, the MEC, on Friday at the weekly media conference of the provincial Covid-19 governing body.
According to him, 3 699 teachers older than 60 could not return to school due to the coronavirus. The department also dismissed 658 teaching staff, including teachers and office staff, due to underlying illnesses from school attendance.
Some of the staff will be able to return after the pandemic, but 3 620 vacancies are available.
Lesufi stressed that only 154 Gauteng schools had to be temporarily closed for disinfection.
A total of 1 527 positive cases have been reported in schools, of which 402 are pupils.
Lesufi said he was concerned about school attendance.
According to him, 70% of matriculants who are registered attend school and the other 30% have not applied for home schooling.
Only 23% of gr. R pupils are currently attending school.
Lesufi says the decision to close schools does not lie with them, but with Pres. Cyril Ramaphosa and Angie Motshekga, Minister of Basic Education.
“The minister met with the MECs and we passed on our opinions to her. What I can say is that people with unstable circumstances need to think twice before removing pupils from a stable school environment.
“Here the pupils’ temperature is measured twice a day, they are forced to wear masks and maintain healthy distances, they get a plate of food and education.
“In some homes it is not possible to maintain a healthy distance, there is no money for masks and children play football without a healthy distance,” says Lesufi.
He also condemned protests at schools.