Minister Schäfer pays tribute to Western Cape teachers on World Teachers’ Day
Statement by Minister Debbie Schäfer, Minister of Education Western Cape
The WCED and I wish all Western Cape teachers a happy World Teachers’ Day!
This year’s theme is appropriately: “Teachers: leading in a crisis, reimagining the future”. 2020 has been an incredibly challenging year for the education system, and our teachers have had to completely change the way they approach teaching. We saw some incredible examples of ingenuity and perseverance during lockdown, as teachers turned to everyday apps and programmes to ensure that learning continued during the long school closure.
And of course, once schools re-opened, the school day has operated very differently, incorporating daily screening procedures, continuous safety protocols, and the rotation of grades. We are proud of the way that so many of our teachers stepped up and set the example for our learners. The attitude of our teachers and other staff during the phasing in process made all the difference in calming our learners’ nerves and helping them to adjust to the ‘new normal’ of attending school during the Covid-19 pandemic.
We know the long school closures have a wide range of negative impacts on learners, in terms of their education, health and safety, as well as their future circumstances. I would like to personally thank and pay tribute to all of those teachers who set aside their own understandable fears and put the interests of our learners first as we re-opened schools in the safest way possible. These teachers have demonstrated what it means for teaching to be a calling rather than just a job.
We are deeply saddened by the loss of 31 of our teachers to Covid-19 since the lockdown began. We think of them especially today, along with the other teachers and staff who have passed away this year, and offer our sincere condolences to their families, colleagues and schools.
Having launched our #CommitToFinish campaign to encourage Grade 12 learners to finish their matric year, we know that our matric teachers need encouragement too. Thank you for the work you have done this year to prepare our matrics, and we wish you and your classes the very best for the exams.
The WCED will do all it can to support our teachers as we move forward together in educating our children, while making sure that we continue to implement the necessary protocols to keep our staff and learners safe.
Spokesperson to Minister Debbie Schäfer
Western Cape Ministry of Education