Teachers are leaders in communities and must lead by example, by encouraging South Africans to get vaccinated.
This is the sentiment of Principal Ramabesele Isaac Mosholi, of Bofula-Tshepe Primary School, who says almost all of his teachers have been vaccinated against the Coronavirus Disease (COVID-19).
“It is extremely important for all teachers to get vaccinated because we meet learners, parents, colleagues and the community outside of the school every day. If we are not vaccinated, our chances of spreading the virus become extremely high,” he says.
The school has 1 477 learners from grades R to 7, 42 teachers six non-teaching staff, including cleaners and screeners; as well as seven voluntary food handlers.
The school learnt a tough lesson when a number of teachers, including the principal, were infected with the virus.
“Parents kept their children at home because they feared that they would be infected and bring the virus home.
“We had to get the school disinfected. We quarantined and observed all necessary protocols. When we reopened the school, we made sure that learners and teachers regularly sanitised, maintained social distancing and wore masks at all times. We understand the seriousness of this virus,” he says.
The general assistants programme assisted when the teachers were in quarantine, to avoid a backlog in the syllabus.
“Our chances of contracting the virus and spreading it are very slim now that we’re vaccinated. The chances of children infecting others and their parents are slim too, and this will assist in flattening the curve,” he says.
Now that all the teachers have been vaccinated, Bofula-Tshepe can go back to focusing on the learners. For the 2020 academic year, the school produced a 95% overall pass rate.
Mosholi is hopeful that the school will maintain a more than 90 % pass rate this year.