Keeping Schools Safe for Teachers with Comorbidities

Broadcast date: 26 September 2020

Comorbidities, exposure and infection

Frustrated and Overwhelmed

In many instances, school leaders are battling to deal with the ways in which Covid-19 is affecting teachers’ attendance. 

Teachers who have comorbidities, for example, have been reluctant to conduct in-person lessons, while those who are exposed to the virus have been forced to quarantine. Of course, teachers who become infected with Covid-19 have to self-isolate, which can pull them away from their classes for weeks at a time.

Having an unreliable staff complement places added pressure on the teachers who remain. It also forces those left behind to teach subjects they may not have the necessary qualifications or experience to teach. This stress isn’t only felt by teachers, but is often passed on to learners and parents as well.

School leaders need to understand the comorbidities their team members might be dealing with and put the proper measures in place to ensure that they are kept safe. Understanding the science behind comorbidities is important, as is ensuring that the SOPs, including social distancing, hand washing and mask wearing, are closely observed by everyone on the school premises.

Efforts should also be made to help schools manage with fewer teachers in case some fall sick and no replacements are appointed by the Department of Basic Education. Acknowledging and putting steps in place to support the anxieties teachers experience is similarly important. 

Read the blog about this topic here.

Standards and science

Standards and Science

Keeping Schools Safe for Teachers with Comorbidities

Listen to Phepha uFunde episode four in full here:

Leading in Uncertainty - Covid-19 - Phepha uFunde

Advisory sites

Department of Basic Education

Psychological Society of South Africa
South African Depression and Anxiety Group
World Health Organization
South African Coronavirus Resource Portal

National Department of Health

Seed Education Trust