Home News Parents shut down 3 schools in Prieska over Covid cases

Parents shut down 3 schools in Prieska over Covid cases

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The parents said there were “numerous” Covid-19 cases reported at the three schools and that it was not a safe environment for pupils.

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PRIESKA parents, who are concerned about the increasing number of Covid-19 infections at local schools, shut down three schools on Wednesday.

Classes at Gariep High School, RD Williams Primary School and JJ Dreyer Primary School were dismissed after parents headed to the schools and called on the principals and teachers to suspend teaching.

The parents said there were “numerous” Covid-19 cases reported at the three schools and that it was not a safe environment for pupils.

“There are in total 16 Covid-19 positive cases at RDD Williams. Of that amount, 13 of those cases are learners, two are teachers and one is a screener. There are 11 learners at Gariep High School who have tested positive. We are not sure how many teachers or screeners have tested positive. At Dreyer there are 10 reported Covid-19 cases. We are also not certain how many of the education staff have tested positive,” the parents said.

“These cases are the confirmed and reported cases. We are not certain how many children might be positive and not have reported it. We have heard that there are some parents who are still allowing their children to continue with school despite them being positive. We cannot risk the health and safety of everyone merely because we want the school doors to remain open.”

Parents gathered at the entrance of RD Williams Primary School and Gariep High School and shut down the schools. Pictures: Supplied

The parents said that while they are concerned about the academic year, the current pandemic calls for stringent action.

“We are now in a third wave. We understand that half of the year has already passed and our children need to get an education, however, what will the benefit of a completed academic year be if half of the learners are no longer physically present in the classroom because they have died. We cannot have classes full of dead children.

“The children had already been attending rotational classes and had missed a lot of academic work because the schools are continuously closed because of the infections. We are also only closing the schools as a precaution.”.

The parents also indicated that more needs to be done to educate children about Covid-19 safety protocols.

“We are living in the midst of a pandemic and some of our children do not understand the dangers of it. Children are playful and want to be close with their friends. They do not understand why they cannot hug, sit close or even share things with their friends. There are some parents who do not educate or encourage their children to practise Covid-19 protocols. We cannot just rely on the schools to teach our children about Covid-9, we need to do it at home too.”

The Northern Cape Department of Education failed to comment on the matter by the time of going to publication.