Home News Barkly West high school pupils return home after screeners down tools

Barkly West high school pupils return home after screeners down tools


Parents have also raised concerns about “faulty” screening equipment at the school

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A NUMBER of pupils at Boresetse High in Barkly West could not enter the school on Monday morning and returned home after Covid-19 screeners failed to report for duty.

The screeners, who had apparently been on a go-slow for weeks due to alleged non-payment and faulty equipment, are on strike.

Only a few pupils and teachers, who were reportedly “prioritised”, entered the school on Monday after the principal volunteered to screen them.

Concerned parents said that pupils and teachers felt unsafe as there were days when there was only one screener on duty at the school.

The parents also claimed that the school had faulty screening equipment, which it failed to have fixed, putting the lives of pupils and teachers at risk.

“It has happened on several occasions where my child told me her temperature read below 20 degrees Celsius and she was told not to worry and enter the schoolyard as the equipment was faulty,” said one of the parents.

“Today (Monday), the educators entered the schoolyard without being screened while the learners waited outside until they decided to go home.

“Only a few learners who use learner transport remained at the school, as well as the matric pupils who study maths and physics, who were prioritised,

“It was obviously too much work for the principal to screen all the learners.”

The parents called on the Northern Cape Department of Education to urgently address the matter, pointing out that there has been a “very concerning” surge in Covid cases in the Province, while valuable teaching and learning time is also being lost.

The provincial Department of Education dismissed claims that there was no schooling at Boresetse High on Monday.

Department spokesperson Lehuma Ntuane said that the screeners were on strike and that teachers had taken the responsibility of screening pupils.

Ntuane did not elaborate on why the screeners had apparently not been paid for months.

“The outstanding payment of the screeners at Boresetse is being processed and they will receive their money in due course,” he said.

The interruption in schooling comes after a statement was issued by the department on Sunday, pledging that all schools are implementing and following strict Covid-19 protocols to limit the spread of the coronavirus.

In the statement it was revealed that 49 schools in the Province have been closed for disinfection since the beginning of May.