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Right to Education over right to life?

The Minister of Basic Education- Honourable Fedilis Mmilili Molao has once again showed no regard for the lives of teachers which are at risk due to exposure to Corona Virus Disease (COVID-19).

“Learning should continue despite the challenges and dangers posed by the COVID-19 pandemic as education is a fundamental human right.” Molao declared.

The teaching sector has been the most affected of all. More teachers than all other frontline workers has been affected by the virus. One would assume the health sector and the forces would be the most affected as they deal directly with the patients, but that is not the case. According to the statistics Twenty-five (25) teachers and Twelve (12) support staff have already succumbed to the virus.

Despite the dangers which the teachers are exposed to, there has not been any bold measures taken by the Minister. One would assume that schools should be fumigated frequently due to the nature of large numbers of people in schools, that is not the case. Moreover, Educators Trade Unions have complained of not being given Personal Protective Equipment to protect themselves against the virus.

Meanwhile, when giving a statement today in Parliament, Minister Molao could not give teachers anything much that eight (8) days rest ‘in appreciation’ of their good work and sacrifices.

“In appreciating the outstanding job done by teachers, my Ministry has decided to give teachers and other members of staff in schools, free eight (8) working days to rest during the upcoming school vacation.” Molao proclaimed.

Molao says he appreciates teachers for their continued focus amid the hostile conditions brought about by the pandemic. The Minister admitted that this year is worse than the previous, evidenced by the escalating COVID-19 cases in schools which at times forces them to use schools as quarantine and isolation centres.

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