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Parents can be charged for not disclosing Covid positive matric learners

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The department warned in a circular that parents, caregivers and guardians who fail to disclose the Covid-19-positive status of a matric candidate in their care would face legal consequences.

THE DEPARTMENT of Basic Education yesterday warned in a circular that parents, caregivers and guardians who fail to disclose the Covid-19-positive status of a matric candidate in their care would face legal consequences

Durban – THE DEPARTMENT of Basic Education on Monday warned in a circular that parents, caregivers and guardians who fail to disclose the Covid-19-positive status of a matric candidate in their care would face legal consequences.

It stated that matric candidates who tested positive for Covid-19 were obliged to inform their school principal immediately so that timeous arrangements could be made for them to write at isolation venues.

The venues would comply with the health and safety protocols and regulations relating to a secure exam. The department reviewed its protocol on the exams in compliance with the Covid-19 requirements in consultation with the Department of Health and is allowing Covid-19-positive candidates to write the exams at isolation centres.

According to the revised protocol, Provincial Education Departments (PED) would liaise with the provincial Department of Health for the nearest isolation venues. Covid-19-positive candidates are also expected to self-isolate at home or at a quarantine facility and only leave isolation to write the exam.

An isolation venue could be a quarantine or isolation centre established by the Department of Health for the purpose of keeping people in isolation; it could be a venue such as a clinic, a room in a hospital, a community hall, a church hall or any other venue including a home that is conducive for the writing of an exam.

The invigilation at these venues would be carried out by a trained health official, a teacher, an examination official or a private invigilator.

The Department of Education said teachers would undertake the responsibility to invigilate at Covid-19 centres on a voluntary basis.

The National Teachers Union (Natu) said it had raised concerns at last Friday’s meeting with the department about teachers’ safety should they choose to volunteer to invigilate at Covid-19 isolation exam centres, and had suggested that security be deployed to ensure teachers were not exposed to intimidation and violence.

Natu secretary-general Cynthia Barnes said the union had advised its members not to allow any form of intimidation, saying nothing would happen to them or their jobs if they refused to invigilate at isolation centres.

Basic Education director-general Mathanzima Mweli said there would be strict compliance with the wearing of masks and the use of hand sanitiser, and physical distancing could also be extended to 1.5 metres, given the limited number of candid

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