File: Basic Education Minister, Angie Motshekga.
JOHANNESBURG - Basic Education Minister Angie Motshekga says they are working with other government departments to ensure teachers are prioritised for vaccination.
Motshekga says the lack of certainty around the availability of a vaccine is giving them sleepless nights.
She was briefing the Portfolio Committee on Basic Education on the readiness of schools for a possible third wave of COVID-19.
"I can assure you that from the word go we had requested a special dispensation for teachers to make sure that not only on the basis of returning learners back to school but on the basis of making sure that we can deal with comorbidities, of teachers with comorbidities to make sure that they come back to class," she said.
Meanwhile, Motshekga says Grade 12 pupils will remain in school as long as possible.
This is because they have lost much of their 2020 academic year.
"We will keep them as long as we can because if you remember chair this year's Grade 12's real experienced a lot of difficulties last year because most of them have gone back to school around July so they would've missed exactly half the year including that they had to go into sessions which means they lost 60%-70% of the year."
Last week the department gazetted that from 26 July primary school pupils must return to school daily.
This includes pupils from special education needs schools.