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Two Prieska primary schools to remain closed for disinfection

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Schooling at Gariep High School resumed on Thursday after it was disinfected

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TWO PRIMARY schools in Prieska – RD Williams and JJ Dreyer – will remain closed until Monday to allow for the schools to be disinfected.

This follows after the Northern Cape MEC for Education, Zolile Monakali, met with the principals of the respective schools on Wednesday.

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

Northern Cape Education Department spokesperson Geoffrey van der Merwe said on Thursday that a decision was taken to keep the two primary schools closed in order to disinfect the premises.

He added that a number of factors had led to the decision to close the schools.

“The spread of the virus is rife in the community. The MEC, principals and the teachers from all schools will monitor the situation and ensure that all Covid-19 protocols are adhered to. Although JJ Dreyer does not have as many positive Covid-19 reported cases as RD Williams, we have decided that both primary schools should remain closed due to the high number of cases in the town. We have to be cautious about the infections. The decision to close the schools is not merely taken by the Education Department but also as per advice from the Department of Health,” Van der Merwe said.

He said that Gariep High School had continued with classes as normal on Thursday.

“Gariep High School was disinfected and schooling proceeded. The two primary schools were also disinfected but classes will resume on Monday.”

Meanwhile, parents of pupils at the schools in Prieska said on Thursday that they were concerned about the safety of their children.

“The infections in the town and the Province are very high. There are many young children who are also infected by the virus. We are worried about the health and safety of our children during this pandemic,” they said.

“If we could choose, we would rather have the schools close permanently in order to ensure that our children are safe. We do understand that our children need to be educated but we also cannot send them out into a danger zone.

“Much education around the spread of the virus is also still required, especially among the younger foundation phase learners. The department also needs to ensure that all Covid-19 protocols are followed at schools and not just give lip service to communities.”