This has been done to minimise the risk of pupils and teachers contracting the Covid-19 virus.
IN CONSULTATION with the District Department of Basic Education, a ‘Covid-19 School Readiness, Awareness and Educational Programme’ has been implemented across seven schools in the Gamagara area, to minimise the risk of pupils and teachers contracting the Covid-19 virus.
The School Readiness Programme includes a health and safety risk assessment to develop a Covid-19 management plan for each school and the provision of PPE for pupils and teachers. The assessment will also include protocols on social distancing and demarcations, hygiene awareness and an education campaign on the implementation of the management plan and protocols.
“The Ubuntu schools already face numerous challenges with regard to infrastructure, water accessibility and other facilities. Considering their current challenges, Covid-19 seemed overwhelming and unbearable, hence psycho-social support and other Covid-19 initiatives, such as the risk assessment were necessary. This support ensures awareness and guidance on how to help cope with and adjust to the current situation to reduce the risk of developing distress, improving well-being, as well as promoting preventive behaviour,” Brizelda Titus, a social worker for the Ubuntu schools project, said.
Support has been provided to school principals and their management teams in co-creating a new normal in the schools through the provision of basic Covid-19 PPE, psycho-social support services and ensuring that the learning environment is conducive and safe. Pupils and operational staff are being supported to develop new behaviors that will contribute toward their safety and enable learners to achieve academically.
Langberg High School principal, Monaheng Roestof, said that the intervention was helping pupils understand and practice good personal hygiene that was essential during the Covid-19 pandemic, without which he believed the school environment would be a mess.
“The programme provides the schools with some relief as the teachers can focus on the mental health of pupils with the help of social workers, and fast-tracking the curriculum,” Kelebogile Mogorosi, Local Community Liaison Officer for REISA (Renewable Energy Investments South AFrica), said.
The seven local schools that are being supported by this programme include Langberg High, Gamagara High, Deben Primary, Maikaelelo Primary, Noord-Kaap Primary, Sishen Intermediate Mine School and Sishen Primary School. Each pupil has also received a school readiness pack including two face masks; hand sanitizers; a cloth and surface cleaner.