All teachers granted permission to work from home due to COVID-19 have been instructed to go back to school from today, now that the country has moved to lockdown level 1.
According to the Department of Basic Education (DBE), more than 22 500 teachers were granted approval concession under level 3 and 2 of the National State of Disaster to work from home for fear of the deadly virus, as most have comorbidities.
President Cyril Ramaphosa announced the move to level 1 on Wednesday last week, as the number of new Coronavirus cases, deaths and hospitalisations is dropping.
“Since the country has gone down to level 1, the risk has been brought down to low, hence the risk for these teachers has reduced considerably.
“The implication of the announcement by the President of moving the country to alert level 1 means the concession to work from home will no longer apply from midnight on Sunday, 20 September 2020,” said the DBE.
However, those who are still not well have been advised to follow the normal sick leave protocols.
The provincial Departments of Education have been urged to honour contractual obligations by continuing to use the services of substitute teachers and employ ways to best utilise them.
“School principals are requested to rework the timetable to accommodate all teachers returning to work as from Monday.”
The DBE said School Management Teams and School Governing Bodies should adjust the learners’ timetable to ensure there is social distancing.
School communities have been urged to familiarise themselves with DBE directions in Government Gazette 43715, published on 15 September; President Ramaphosa’s speech; Education Labour Relations Council agreement 1 of 2020, and the Revised Standard Operating Procedures.
“The department continues to make safety as a priority in the sector, particularly under the COVID-19 conditions,” said the DBE.