Home News Community shuts schools in Delportshoop over Covid concerns

Community shuts schools in Delportshoop over Covid concerns

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Community members claim that 10 Covid-19 cases were reported at one of the local schools.

Pupils leave Francis Mohapanele Primary School after community members shut down schools and crèches in Delportshoop on Monday. Picture: Supplied

COMMUNITY members shut down all schools in Delportshoop on Monday following a high incidence of Covid-19 cases at Delportshoop Combined School.

Parents had decided to close down Delportshoop Combined School on May 11, until further notice, after they indicated that 10 cases of Covid-19 were reported at the school, which included teachers and pupils.

Community member Richard Springbok said that the school governing body had made two applications to the Northern Cape Department of Education to close the school and decontaminate it to prevent the further spread of the disease, but the applications were turned down.

“The acting principal and school governing body were advised that the closure of the school was not advised by the Department of Health and the Department of Education and that disciplinary action would be taken against the acting principal and educators who refused to report for duty even after personnel had tested positive for Covid-19,” said Springbok.

He added that the school would remain closed until all staff and pupils were tested and the premises sanitised.

“There are 803 pupils at the school, with the majority accommodated at the hostel, and we do not know how many children were exposed to the virus. Teachers who do not reside in Delportshoop had to self-isolate and were not able to return home, while parents who went into self-quarantine could not go to work for fear of infection.”

Springbok said that three screeners had also tested positive, while other screeners who were not feeling well would also undergo testing.

“We will shut down all the schools in Delportshoop until the Department of Education comes here to address the situation,” he said.

A school governing body member (SBG) stated that they had requested the Department of Education to close the school as a number of parents had decided to withdraw their children after a high number of Covid-19 positive cases were reported at the school.

“The SGB and parents decided to close the school in the interests of their health and safety. We want the department to sanitise the school because we feel that it is their responsibility and the school does not have the funds or capacity.”

The Northern Cape Department of Education did not provide a response by the time of going to publication.