20,140 teachers have reported comorbidities

Thousands of teachers across the country have reported comorbidities which could increase their risks of serious illness or death should they contract the coronavirus.
Thousands of teachers across the country have reported comorbidities which could increase their risks of serious illness or death should they contract the coronavirus.
Image: File/ Pixabay

There are 20,140 teachers above and below 60 years of age who have reported comorbidities.

This was announced by Matanzima Mweli, director-general of the department of basic education, while briefing the education portfolio committee on the state of readiness for  reopening on Tuesday.

KwaZulu-Natal had the most reported numbers with 4,127, followed by the Eastern Cape with 3,652, Gauteng with 3,048 and North West with 2,501 reported cases, Mweli said.

Limpopo had the fewest, with 423.

Mweli said the department had 18,791 teachers who were 60 years and older. Gauteng had the most with 3,699 followed by KwaZulu-Natal with 3,055. Northern Cape only had 738.

Mweli said to manage comorbidities, a concession process to follow for employees with a comorbidity was signed and issued.

“This collective agreement aims to provide a concession for educators who are affected due to risk factors of severe Covid-19. The employee with comorbidities and manager/principal must agree on either special arrangements to report to school or work from home. If no agreement is reached, the grievance procedure may be revoked,” Mweli said.

He said according to the concession process, the employee will submit a medical report to the principal which indicates if the comorbidities were in accordance with the list provided by the health department. For the arrangement of substitute teachers, Mweli said various forms of supply of teachers were available.

“There are Funza Lushaka bursary graduates who have not been placed. Provincial education departments have a database of educators who are additional to the staff establishment who may assist. In addition, the provincial departments have a database of unemployed qualified educators who are willing to assist in a substitute capacity,” Mweli said.

He said when a substitute is required, the principal will request such from the circuit/district office, who will provide substitutes who meet the requirements of the post requiring substitution.

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