'Tough times' as 7 teachers, 3 pupils among 15 Covid-19 deaths in Eastern Cape schools

A total of 15 people within the department of education in the Eastern Cape have died of Covid-19, the department confirmed on Wednesday.
A total of 15 people within the department of education in the Eastern Cape have died of Covid-19, the department confirmed on Wednesday. 
Image: 123RF/paylessimages

Three pupils, eight educators and four non-teaching staff have died of Covid-19 in the Eastern Cape's education sector, the province's education department said on Wednesday. 

Of the educators, seven were teachers and one a deputy principal.

“The Eastern Cape education department wishes to extend its heartfelt condolences to the families of those that have succumbed to Covid-19 in our province and sector,” said spokesperson Loyiso Pulumani.

The deceased deputy principal was identified as David Sello of Lingelethu Primary School. He died two days after testing positive for the virus, said Pulumani.

“We continue to urge all of our teachers and learners to remember that this invisible enemy is both physical and psychological,” he said. 

Pulumani said the department encouraged teachers and pupils to make use of mental health checks with district teams that have been deployed for telehealth services through the Sikuncede Njani toll-free line 080 1212 570. 

MEC for education Fundile Gade said the department had been hit by tough times but was hopeful the virus could be defeated. 

“Ours is a fight to ensure that we are not only academically sound at the end of this year, but that we walk out of 2020 better than when we came in. We can only do that if we work together, wash our hands, sanitise, wear masks and practise social distancing,” he said.

“This is a tough time, but we will defeat Covid-19 together.”


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