More than 70 percent of Eastern Cape educators and general employees of the Eastern Cape Department of Education are fully vaccinated.
The Eastern Cape Head of Education Department, Dr Naledi Mbude said only the fully vaccinated exam marking officials will take part in marking of 2021 matric examinations in the Eastern Cape.
She said the provincial department is having talks with the Provincial Department of Health to bring vaccination at schools following the launch of vaccination for those between the age of 12 and 17 years old, with most of them being learners.
Dr Mbude attributes the numbers of people who have been vaccinated to a vaccine drive campaign that was run by the Eastern Cape Department of Education.
“Myself and the MEC [Fundile Gade] led a vaccination drive campaign from the front. We were the first to vaccinate to show people that there’s nothing wrong with the vaccine,” said Dr Mbude.
She said the death of teachers who were not vaccinated due to Covid-19 also turned out to be a motivational factor for other teachers.
Dr Mbude said they had to make vaccine passports mandatory for exam markers to prevent marking disruption as a result of Covid-19 infections in the marking centres and to reduce the amount of time it took to markout Grade 12 exams last year.
“We had to set up a standard for everyone. We cannot force people to go and vaccinate but we had to communicate upfront that those that are still hesitant will not be part of exam marking.” she said
Dr Mbude said the next goal of ECDoE is to vaccinate as many learners as possible to create safety schools that are free from Covid-19.
“We have proposed to the Department of Health to implement what became our successful strategy of turning the schools into vaccination sites.It helped us with teachers because they didn’t have to travel far to get vaccinated, they received it from their schools.We can use the same method for learners that are yet to write final exams.” she said
She said there’s a lot of vaccine hesitancy in that age group.
“Fake news around vaccines is that it will prevent people from giving birth. The young ones are more hesitant because they want to be parents one day and are fearful that when they get vaccinated that will not happen,” said Dr Mbude.
She said more education is needed to dispel the myths about vaccines.
By Johnnie Isaac
Spread the love