20,140 educators have reported comorbidities

Thousands of teachers have reported comorbidities
Thousands of teachers have reported comorbidities
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There are 20,140 educators 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 on re-opening of schools on Tuesday. Mweli said KwaZulu-Natal had the most reported numbers with 4,127 followed by Eastern Cape with 3,652, Gauteng with 3,048 and North West with 2,501 reported cases.

Limpopo province had the least number of educators reported comorbidities with only 423. Mweli said the department had 18,791 educators who were 60 years and above. Gauteng had the most numbers with 3,699 followed by KwaZulu-Natal with 3,055 and Northern Cape only had 738.

Mweli said to manage comorbidities, a concession process to follow for employees with a comorbidity (Covid-19) 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 make report to school or work from home. If no agreement is reached, the grievance procedure maybe 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 department of health. 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 department's (PEDs) have a database of educators who are additional to the staff establishment who may assist. In addition the department of basic education, PEDs 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.