Wednesday, September 30, 2020

Covid-19 Schools scare

The Covid 19 task team insists on keeping the schools opened despite a rising number of Covid – 19 cases recorded amongst students across the greater Gaborone zone.

On Monday, Legae Academy – a prestigious private school located in the capital Gaborone was the latest school to confirm a Covid-19 positive case.

A circular from Legae Academy to the parents on Monday morning indicated that a Form five student has tested positive and that the school was working hand in hand with the Health authorities on contract tracing.

By late afternoon hours Legae Academy management informed the parents of a decision to close the school until further notice. The message, which was sent from the School’s Principal office did not give much detail on the tests ran on other students and teachers.

“In consequence of a confirmed case of Covid 19 in Legae Academy, we have decided to close the school until further notice….”, reads part of the Legae Academy Principal – Parents message.

Still on Monday, Ledumang Secondary School was temporarily shut after three reported positive cases amongst its students while a junior Secondary School in Francistown has also reportedly been hit.

In the evening, the Botswana Sectors of Educators Trade Union said it was getting reports tat more schools are confirming positive cases amongst its students.

BOSETU Secretary General – Tobokani Rari said that atleast seven schools this week reported positive cases of Covid 19, a trend which he said is worrisome.

Rari told The Telegraph that as a Union they have made a proposal to the government to push the academic calendar of schools to March/April 2021 to allow time to clear the Covid 19 virus.

“Our thinking is that is the focus should be on trying to minimize the spread of the virus in schools. This is important mainly so because the schools are congested and its populace it not even easy to control”, Rari said late Monday evening.

Meanwhile speaking on a regular state television – Btv update programme dubbed Covid 19 – Botswana Response, the Health Services Director – Dr Malaki Tshipayagae noted that so far, the cases registered do not suggest the need to close down schools. He observed that a good number of schools, if not all, have been on the right side of the law when it comes to following the Covid 19 Health protocols and regulations.

Dr Tshipayagae said the root cause of the problem is the communities where the students comes from.

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