Rollout of vaccines to the basic educator sector in the Western Cape begins
Statement by Minister Debbie Schäfer, Minister of Education Western Cape
50 staff members are scheduled to receive their vaccines today as we start the rollout of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine for our province’s basic education sector.
Our first staff members to receive their vaccine today are Ms Eugenia Paulo-Goagoses from Masiphatisane Primary School (West Coast), and Ms Riefqah Sasman from Heideveld Secondary School (Metro Central).
Ms Paulo-Goagoses travelled all the way from Vredenburg to join us today. She is a former winner of the Provincial Teaching Award for Excellence in Primary School Teaching, and believes in adapting to the unique needs of her learners to make sure that each has the opportunity to build on their own strengths. She is also very involved in her community and motivates, creates opportunities, encourages and champions various social issues in the West Coast community at large.
Ms Sasman is also a former winner of a Provincial Teaching Award (for Excellence in Technology-Enhanced Teaching and Learning), and is well known for her work in online teaching and learning. She was a finalist in the News24 Super School competition, after creating a website for learners so that their learning could continue online during the Covid-19 pandemic. She was part of the team at the Cape Teaching and Leadership Institute that developed and facilitated an online course for teachers to assist with remote teaching and learning. She also creates English FAL lesson plans and content for the WCED ePortal for Grades 10 to 12.
I am also very pleased to have had with us today some of our union partners and representatives from principal associations. This is a wonderful example of collective support for an important cause that will improve the quality of education in our schools. I know that our School Governing Body Foundations are also supporting us in educating, promoting and encouraging the sector to get vaccinated.
I urge every one of our eligible basic education sector staff members to take this opportunity to contribute to getting our schools back to some semblance of normality. While the vaccine cannot stop our staff members from getting Covid-19, and we still have to follow safety protocols, it will protect them from serious illness. We have lost so many to this pandemic. Let us do all we can to keep our staff – and our schools – safe.
The Pinelands EMS site will ramp up to 1 100 vaccinations a day, and is one of two mass sites in the metro. The Tygerberg Hospital site will ramp up to 1 400 per day. A further 27 sites of varying sizes are dispersed across the province, ranging from 20 to 250 vaccinations per day. The sector rollout will end on Thursday, 8 July.
I give my thanks, and the thanks of the WCED, to our provincial Department of Health and all the health workers of this province. They have responded in a phenomenal fashion to this pandemic, and now give their support to our vaccination effort. Our health workers have served our residents with passion and commitment, without giving up, through one of the greatest challenges our country has ever faced. They have approached this rollout with the efficiency and grace that is the hallmark of healthcare in our province, and we are grateful for their continued support.
Spokesperson to Minister Debbie Schäfer
Western Cape Ministry of Education