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Another Northern Cape school closed due to Covid-19

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The MEC for Education, Zolile Monakali expressed his concern after another Northern Cape school has been temporarily closed after learners and educators tested positive for Covid-19.

File image. Picture: Phando Jikelo/African News Agency(ANA)

THE MEC for Education, Zolile Monakali expressed his concern after another Northern Cape school has been temporarily closed after learners and educators tested positive for Covid-19.

Sonskyn Intermediate School in Marydale was forced to shut down after 20 learners and three educators tested positive for Covid-19.

Monakali said that the infection is interfering with the curriculum.

“I have noted with great concern the resurgence of new infections in our schools and the outbreak of Covid-19 in both Namakwa and Pixley Ka Seme districts respectively. During the past two weeks, we have seen a gradual increase in Covid-19 infections of educators, learners and staff in our schools.

“The previous week we had 36 positive cases in Calvinia and we had to close four schools in the area. This is concerning because we are hardly two months into the academic year and already seeing such a spike.

“We are however comforted by the swift response from the Department of Health who have already allocated health workers in the area in order to contain the situation.

“Our partnership with the Department of Health and Department of Social Development is proving to be valuable,” said Monakali.

He said the department will assist learners to catch up with lost learning and teaching.

“The department will develop a curriculum catch up plan to recover the lost teaching and learning time while the affected schools are being disinfected.

“The department will also continue to monitor the situation very closely and urge parents to remain calm and keep all learners in isolation,” he said.

He said the health department will conduct mass testing in an attempt to stop the spread of the virus.

“The Department of Health has already allocated health workers to the area to conduct mass testing in order to curb a further spread of the coronavirus. We must ensure that wearing of masks remain compulsory in public, social distancing is maintained, sanitise and wash hands regularly,” Monakali said.