Cosas expresses concerns about the rising COVID-19 cases in Free State schools

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Congress of South African Students (Cosas) has expressed its concerns about the rising numbers of coronavirus cases in Free State schools.

The department of Basic Education has a total of 317 confirmed positive cases since the reopening of schools last month.

Grey College high school in Bloemfontein is the latest school reporting coronavirus cases, saying 60 learners and teachers testing positive.

Free State Cosas chairperson Katleho Mangoejane says they have longed requested the department to get learners vaccinated.

“We have noted the latest Covid incident at Grey College. We’re disappointed by education because we told them that they should have prioritised vaccinating both learners and teachers. This is pure negligence that would have been avoided.”

South African Democratic Teachers Union (Sadtu) provincial secretary Bricks Moloi says they are disturbed by the recent growing numbers of cases in schools.

“It has been a concern that the minister has announced that learners should come back to school in numbers especially in primary school, where we have experienced a huge overcrowding where social distancing is mostly affected. We are going to have this infection rate.”

Concerns over the spike in COVID-19 infections in Free State schools in the video below:

KZN’s concerns

KwaZulu-Natal Education MEC, Kwazi Mshengu, has also expressed concern about the increase in the number of COVID-19 cases at schools in the province since the start of the new term.

The second school term was cut short when the country moved to Alert Level 4 of the lockdown after a third wave of the pandemic in parts of the country at the beginning of July.

Minister of Basic Education Angie Motshekga gives details on the reopening of schools:

In and around Durban, a number of schools have been closed for decontamination due to COVID cases since the beginning of the month. In Ladysmith, a nine-year-old pupil died from COVID-19 on 1 August.

Mshengu says in the last 24-hour reporting period, 285 new COVID-19 cases were recorded among pupils and teachers at schools in the province. Nine schools were closed for decontamination.