KZN Schools Now Battling With Rising Covid Cases

KZN School Now Battling With Rising Covid Cases

As Kwazulu-Natal officially enters the third wave, it's schools are being impacted and seeing Covid cases climb. Political parties have now spoken up and said that the provincial education department is not doing what has to be done.

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Covid-19 cases are on the rise in schools in Kwazulu-Natal. Now, the Inkatha Freedom Party (IFP) is calling on the MEC for Education in the province, Kwazi Mshengu, to hand over a detailed plan for how they will handle this rise in cases.

Over 10 schools have had to close down due to Covid infections with IFP saying there are schools who are not reporting the Covid cases.

IFP's KZN Education spokesperson, Thembeni Madlopha-Mthethwa, said that this is a dire situation:

When the schools reopened after the winter holidays, we have seen that most learners from grade R to grade 7, they come back to school and also in the high school, but when we look at the preparation that was done, nothing really was done. 

KZN schools are said to have not have sufficient sanitation facilities in place when learners returned to class.

"The learners were brought back to school but there was no increment of screeners or classrooms. There was still a shortage of water in most schools," continued Madlopha-Mthethwa.

There has now been a rapid increase in the number of learners affected by Covid in the province, said the Spokesperson, and that they haven't seen a convincing programme to show that the MEC is doing what he has to to address this issue.

Teachers are now vaccinated but learners aren't vaccinated and some learners, they go to school without masks and this is a concern for parents, teachers, communities and teacher unions.

IFP says that the KZN Education Department does not have a tangible and credible plan in place to deal with the rising Covid-19 infections in schools and this was promised.

She continued to say that there are no mobile classrooms as the department said there would be and that schools are still overcrowded.

There are classes exceeding the maximum allowed in line with restrictions as well.

MEC Kwazi Mshengu has said that his department is monitoring the rise in Covid infections within KZN schools which is affecting both educators and learners.

Mshengu said, "This is a worrying trend because it continues to disrupt teaching and learning, adding to the learning gaps that have been experienced in the past".

As to what contributed to the issue, he said one of them is non-compliance to safety protocols at schools and homes. 

The department says that there are parents who are sending learners to school even if they know they have tested positive or have symptoms.

Schools in the province continue to use the rotational timetable.

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