Limpopo Education MEC Polly Boshielo says 30 positive coronavirus (COVID-19) cases have been reported at schools in the province. This includes 22 teachers and seven learners.
Boshielo was speaking during a virtual media briefing of the provincial command council. She says the department has started a process to replace teachers, who have requested to stay at home due to other health conditions that make them vulnerable to the coronavirus.
“There are 30 confirmed cases, 22 are educators, 7 are learners and one is non-teaching staff. In terms of comorbidities, 935 teachers have applied to stay at home due to comorbidities and 499 the concession has been granted and also to 3 non-teaching staff. The department is currently planning on utilising substitute posts to fill posts left vacant by educators with comorbidities.”
MEC Boshielo @PollyBoshielo monitoring the return of learners at Tshidumbi Primary School in Shayandima, Vhembe East. The school has received all learners, all the PPEs and learners excited to be back at school. pic.twitter.com/Akpd5OSokx
— LimpopoEducation (@edu_limp) July 7, 2020
Meanwhile, a principal of a school in the Western Cape, who requested to remain anonymous, says his school currently does not have the capacity to roll out adequate COVID-19 preventative measures. This is as more grades returned to school on Monday to join Grade 7 and matric learners, who started last month.
The principal says overcrowding and a shortage of teachers are some of the main challenges they are facing. He says the high number of learners per class will make social distancing impossible.
He says they are now considering alternating days for the different grades to attend school.
“We may have to say to the other grades that they’ll have to come in on alternative days because they can’t simply be here every day. We want the matrics to be here every day, because of the importance of the matric exam and it’s an entry-level exam, but to have the rest of the children here every single day, we simply do not have the capacity.”
Some educators at the Schotsche Kloof Primary School in the Bo-Kaap have questioned the return of learners in the heart of winter.
Learners in Grades R, 6, and 11 returned to school from Monday.
“We can see the infections are rising rapidly every day and yet children are expected to come to school. We have parents that have tested positive, but they send their children which leads to other children getting infected, carrying over the disease … the virus to their families as well as the teachers,” says an educator at Schotsche Kloof Primary, Naeela Gouda.