Northern Cape Closes More Schools Due To Increased Covid Cases

Learner

The Northern Cape Department of Education has again raised concerns about the high Covid-19 infection rate among learners and school staff in the province. The province reported hundreds of new Covid-19 cases at six schools in the past week.

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The Northern Cape's Education Department has again raised concerns about a surge in Covid-19 positive cases among learners and school staff in the province.

This comes after it recorded at least 339 new Covid-19 cases among teachers, school support staff and learners which resulted in the closure of six schools last week.

Last week, 526 new Covid-19 cases in schools were reported with the National Health Department also raising concern about rising infections in young people between the ages of 10 and 19 in the province.

In a statement, the Provincial Education Department implored parents to limit the movement of children while they are at home.

The high infection rate, especially amongst our learners, is very concerning and we appeal to parents and school communities to limit movement or social interaction of our learners whilst at home.

“Schools are a microcosm of our society and at this stage mirror the level of infections in our communities. School communities must remain vigilant whilst we still find ourselves in the midst of the Covid-19 pandemic,” read the statement.

The department has said that there are plans are in place to make sure that learning at schools is not disrupted during this period.

The department is working tirelessly to normalise learning and teaching at our schools. Whilst the number of Covid-19 infections in our schools remain fairly high, we are satisfied with the manner in which our schools are managing and responding to these incidents at the level of our schools

Meanwhile, the department said Grade 12 preparatory examinations, which start on Monday, will not be affected by the rise in Covid-19 infections.

The preparatory examinations will be conducted under strict Covid-19 regulations to limit any disruptions it may have on the examinations. The Department has put systems in place to ensure that no learner's academic performance are negatively affected, in cases where they cannot write due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

Contingency plans are in place for learners who are affected or infected by Covid-19, with the department saying that in a case where a learner cannot write the common papers, due to a valid reason or Covid-19, they will receive an adjusted mark for the subject. 

“In a case where a large group of learners are unable to write due to Covid-19, the school will reschedule a date for these learners to write a backup paper. This is in line with the existing Examinations policies currently in place,” the department added.

Furthermore, the department reiterated the call on all those over the age of 18 to get vaccinated against Covid-19.

We urge parents, if your child is 18 years and above, to register them on the Electronic Vaccination Data System (EVDS) for the public vaccination programme for this specific age group.

“The vaccination has proven to be safe and it provides a mechanism through which we can protect ourselves against the Covid-19 pandemic. Let us continue to adhere to the non-pharmaceutical interventions by wearing our masks, sanitising and washing our hands regularly and maintaining social distance," adds the statement.

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