Concern over whether the academic year can be saved with so many schools closing
AS THE number of Covid-19 cases in the Northern Cape shot up over the weekend to more than 1 400 cases, parents woke up on Monday morning to the news that a total of 48 schools in the Province have been closed due to Covid-19 infections.
The provincial Department of Education said on Monday that the necessary arrangements have been made with the Department of Health to establish the contact traces for testing and have isolated staff and pupils where necessary.
Schools that are currently closed due to Covid-19 infections include JJ Booysen Primary School, Elizabeth Conradie Special School, Noord-Kaap Primary School, GN Pressly Intermediate School, Isagontle Primary School, Thabane High School, Tshiamo Primary School, Barkly West High School, Colston Intermediate School, Rietvale High School, Vuyolwethu High School, Kuruman Primary School, Jannie Brink Special School, Port Nolloth High School, Roodepan High School, DL Jansen Primary School, Kathu High School, Rusfontein Primary School, Kudumane Primary School, Segonyana Primary School, Sedibeng Primary School, Itekeleng Primary School, Kimberley Boys’ High School, Kathu Curro School, Tshwarelela Primary School, Kim Kgolo Primary School, Rietrivier Primary School, Emang Mmogo Combined School, Kimberley Technical High School, Alpha Primary School, St John’s Primary School, Emthanjeni Primary School, Newton Primary School and Kimberley Junior Primary School.
Schools that were closed and have since reopened include Shekinah Intermediate School, AJ Ferreira High School, Carnarvon Primary School, Enoch Mthetho High School, Ikhwezi Lokusa Primary School, Philipstown High School, Zingisani Primary School, Beacon Primary School, Veritas High School, Duineveld High School, Delta Primary School, Kimberley Christian School, Noupoort Combined School and Remmogo High School.
According to the spokesperson for the Northern Cape Department of Education, Geoffrey van der Merwe, the Pixley ka Seme, John Taolo Gaetsewe and ZF Mgcawu district offices have also been closed with immediate effect due to positive Covid-19 cases reported.
“These offices and schools will remain closed until the premises have been disinfected and it is safe for educators and pupils to return,” Van der Merwe said.
He added that the department was monitoring the situation very closely and ensuring that all systems are in place at schools.
“Although 48 schools have been affected thus far, we must indicate that it is not a breakout of Covid-19 infections, but rather individual cases that were reported.
“As a department, we are taking all precautionary measures to curb the spread of Covid-19 in schools, thus the closure of these schools in relation to our standard operating procedures,” he stated.
Parents, however, have expressed concern over whether the school year can be saved with so many schools closed.
“The Department of Education should cancel the school year, as many schools will be closed more often than they are open. It must be remembered that there are only four grades that have returned to school, what is going to happen when all the grades return?” asked one parent.
The Minister of Health announced on Sunday that the total number of people who have tested positive in the Northern Cape increased to 1 401, while the number of deaths shot up to 11.
There were 124 additional positive cases in the previous 24 hours.