SAPTU welcomes the Minister of Higher Education and Training Dr Blade Nzimande’s announcement that all universities and other post-school institutions will remain open even though there will be no face to face learning during lockdown alert level 4.
“It is imperative for the future of our country that students continue with their studies with as little disruption as possible,” says Adv Ben van der Walt, the general secretary of SAPTU (South African Parastatal and Tertiary Institutions Union). “With the past Youth Day, we were again reminded of the importance of education and skills training.”
The minister also said that the Department of Health uses the grounds of many tertiary institutions as vaccination sites. South Africa has so far vaccinated 3 026 636 people including around 50 000 teachers a day since the Basic Education sector roll-out started on 23 June 2021.
SAPTU would like to commend Minister Nzimande for having the foresight of instructing his department to set up a strategy for rollout of the vaccination of staff – academic and support – in the tertiary sector, even though they have no scheduled dates yet.
“We trust that this step will lead to the vaccination process rolling out without any major disruptions,” says Adv Van der Walt. “We urge the Department of Health to prioritise our members at tertiary institutions.”