The instruction specifically pertained to teachers who were granted permission to work from home as a result of COVID-19, termed comorbidities by the DBE, with them required to be at their respective schools on 21st September, a tweet (embedded below) explained.
The Department of Basic Education wishes to advise all teachers who were granted permission to work from home due to COVID-19, to report for duty on Monday 21 September, 2020.#BackToSchoolSA pic.twitter.com/9BhtBASLvM
— Dep. Basic Education (@DBE_SA) September 20, 2020
The reason for the return, apart from the country moving to level 1, is that the infection rate is at a stable enough rate, according to the DBE.
“We are expecting that 22,500 teachers who have been working from home under levels 4,3, and 2 will now have to work from the school where they have been employed,” department spokesperson Elijah Mhlanga, told EWN yesterday.
“If they feel that they are not well, they are advised to apply for sick leave using the proper channels that they know,” he added.
How “they feel” is to be determined, remains to be seen, but it appears as if the DBE is pushing forward with its desire to complete the 2020 curriculum regardless of what impact it has on teachers and learners alike.
With it still to be seen whether the majority of teachers with comorbidities will indeed return to their schools, the DBE has also urged institutions to make use of substitutes were possible, which is also another area of concern for many.
“We encourage schools to return them if it’s possible (and) if they can afford it, and the budget is available. Or use them in other ways possible after the other teachers have returned to school,” Mhlanga concluded.