Wednesday, September 30, 2020

Measles hits school as students write Final Examinations

The Ministry of Education and skills Development (MoE) might temporarily close down Bokamoso Secondary school due to an outbreak of measles that hit the school a few days ago.

And the number of cases is rising, while at the same time the school management is worried that the school pass rate might plunge.

Some of the affected students are Form Three pupils who have already started writing their final examinations but were forced to seat and write examinations at Princess Marina Hospital or at home after they allegedly caught the disease.

It all started last Wednesday morning when some of the students developed suspected measles symptoms, resulting in nurses from Extension 14 Clinic in Gaborone being called to rescue the situation.

During medical examinations, 22 students were suspected to have developed measles, of which 9 were quite serious and were rushed to hospital where they were attended to in isolation.

It is further reported that among the 9, two were forced to seat for their examinations while in hospital.

The situation came to a head when one of the students, who was to seat for the examination at home, attempted to write the exam but failed due to the illness.

The situation worsened on Friday when more and more students developed the symptoms and the nurses were again called to the school.

Interviewed by Sunday Standard on Friday afternoon, the headmaster of Bokamaoso Secondary School, Shirley Dipholo, said, “My school has been hit by what we suspect to be measles.”

She said among the affected students are form three pupils who are seating for their final examinations, forcing school authorities to invigilate some of the students either from hospital or at home.

Dipholo further said one of the students was expected to seat for Setswana paper3, which is letter writing and composition, adding that the student tried to write the paper but could not finish the exam because the student’s health deteriorated and had to be rushed to hospital.

She said in order to curb the situation, they were advised to separate the infected from non infected students and for them to write their exams separately.

Dipholo said school superiors were looking into the matter concerning those students who could not seat for the exam.

“I am very worried about the health of the students, especially the form threes because this disease might seriously affect the pass rate of the school and our normal pass rate is around 80 percent,” she said.

When asked whether they are considering closing the school temporally, she replied that “the ministry is better placed to respond to that question”.

She appealed to students to go to the nearest clinic if they feel dizzy.

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