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1,493 teachers died from COVID-19 in South Africa – Education minister

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The South Africa’s Minister of Basic Education, Angie Motshega, said on Friday at least 1, 493 teachers have died from COVID-19 in the country.

The minister, who disclosed this at a news briefing in the country’s capital, Pretoria, said the 2020 academic year was most challenging due to the disruption caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.

She said: “At this point, I also want to acknowledge the fact that during those difficult times, we lost almost 1,493 teachers.

“We lost a number of our workers. We lost a number of district officials, circuit officials to COVID-19.

“Despite this, the 2021 academic year would start on January 25 with teachers and pupils returning to the classroom on January 27.”

Motshega said a three-year recovery plan would be implemented by the government to deal with 2020’s disruptions.

READ ALSO: Second wave of Covid-19 in South Africa may overwhelm health care system –Minister

She added: “The unintended learning losses occurred due to the extended closure of schools occasioned by the COVID-19 pandemic. Remember some of the learners only came in September.

“The department could not accommodate learners even after they had returned to the classroom.”

The minister said grade 12 pupils who completed their year end examinations last week lost 47 schooling days in the year.

South Africa is the epicenter of the COVID-19 pandemic in Africa with 892,813 confirmed cases and 24, 011 fatalities.

However, 780,313 of those infected had recovered from the virus.

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