By Libuseng Nyaka
QWAQWA – Teachers in the Thabo Mofutsanyana were relieved when they finally joined their counterparts in the rest of the country in receiving the COVID-19 vaccination on Wednesday.
Out of the 9017 targeted teachers, 4800 will receive a shot of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine allocated by the department of health.
“Those 4800 doses must be finished by the end of June 30. Our plan is to prioritise teachers aged between 50 and 59, of which we have 1887,”said Thabo Mofutsanyana chief education specialist responsible for learner support, Dimakatso Potsane.
One of the teachers who received a jab, Nthedi Potsane who is the principal of Machaea Primary School described experience as a moment of relief after waiting for a long time for a vaccine.
“I have been waiting for this moment for quite a long time. I am super happy.”
Potsane said the vaccination was a step in the right direction that will allow them to resume normal timetabling as schools will now be safe for both learners and teachers.
“We want to keep our schools open and we can only keep them open when our teachers are vaccinated as it means our schools are going to be safe for both our teachers and learners. When all teachers have been vaccinated we will be able to go to the normal time tabling. We are currently rotating classes,” explained Potsane.
She, however, expressed concern over the slow number of teachers that came for vaccination on the first day.
“We must cover 500 teachers today but I do not see that, maybe they are still coming. We do not want to incur any loss.”
Thabo Mofutsanyana district director of education Lindiwe Mabaso had this to say: “I am so happy that our teachers and principals are here. We wanted to do this to ensure that our learners are protected and given a chance to be better citizens. We need these teachers to be vaccinated so they are able to teach and catch up on the backlog from 2020.
Over half a million basic education staff are expected to receive a Johnson & Johnson jab in the next two weeks.