Little more than a month after schools have reopened, a Covid-19 outbreak is sweeping through classrooms in the Northern Cape.
To date, 69 teachers and 46 learners have been affected.
Despite the R30 million the Northern Cape Department of Education has spent Even after has spent to date on sanitising schools in the province, dozens of schools are closing on a weekly basis.
Since reopening on 8 June, 84 schools in the province have had to close The number of schools that have been closed due to Covid-19.
The department indicated it is working around the clock to salvage the academic year, but has admitted that the increasing number of Covid-19 infections is posing a huge challenge.
According to Geoffrey van der Merwe, departmental spokesperson, Angie Motshekga, the national minister of education, is engaging with stakeholders to discuss the way forward regarding schooling.
The attendance rate in schools in the Northern Cape for teachers is at 77%, while 70% of learners are attending classes.
To date, 33 schools have reopened after being disinfected. Contact tracing was also done.
Van der Merwe says that the department is working on implementing alternative measures to ensure that learning continues at affected schools.
Ofentse Mokae, MPL and DA provincial constituency head for the Joe Morolong Local Municipality, says the department continues to fail learners and teachers.
A recent oversight inspection to the Joe Morolong municipal area revealed that the Reebone Primary School, Thusano Intermediate School and Gasebonwe Dantjie Intermediate School are some of the schools that have yet to receive their share of the Covid-19 support package.
Mokae says the DA is calling on Mack Jack, MEC for Education, to extend his footprint in the province to ensure that all schools receive equal attention from the Northern Cape Department of Education.
Not only are schools waiting to receive much-needed financial support from the department, but there are also schools that are in such a state of dilapidation that they should not be accessed by learners and teachers, Mokae says.
Meanwhile, various unions are demanding that all schools be closed until the peak of the Covid-19 pandemic is over.
Matakana Matakane, chairperson of the National Association of School Governing Bodies, says the association pleaded for the suspension of classes, with the exception of Gr. 7, Gr. 9 and Gr. 12.
He says the association feels that something must be done for Gr. 12 learners in rural areas and townships, because they do not have access to e-learning.
Gr. 7 learners will be going to high school next year; therefore, if their classes remain suspended, they will not have the necessary knowledge to carry on to high school, says Matakane.
As Gr. 9 learners will be choosing new subjects in Gr. 10, their academic foundation also needs to be solidified.
Stuur jou mening van 300 woorde of minder na MyStem@netwerk24.com en ons sal dit vir publikasie oorweeg. Onthou om jou naam en van, ‘n kop-en-skouers foto en jou dorp of stad in te sluit.
Netwerk24 ondersteun ’n intelligente, oop gesprek en waardeer sinvolle bydraes deur ons lesers. Lewer hier kommentaar wat relevant is tot die onderwerp van die artikel. Jou mening is vir ons belangrik en kan verdere menings of ondersoeke stimuleer. Geldige kritiek en meningsverskille is aanvaarbaar, maar dit is nie 'n platform vir haatspraak of persoonlike aanvalle nie. Kommentaar wat irrelevant, onnodig aggressief of beledigend is, sal verwyder word. Lees ons volledige kommentaarbeleid
Murray La Vita is 'n bekroonde rubriekskrywer en profielskrywer vir Netwerk24.
Hanlie Retief is 'n bekroonde skrywer en aanbieder van 'n Halfuur met Hanlie op Via.
Blouwillem is 'n voorheen bevoordeelde, tans geseënde middeljarige man.
Waldimar Pelser is redakteur van Rapport en aanbieder van 'In Gesprek' op kykNET.
Henry Jeffreys is 'n politieke kommentator en voormalige redakteur van Die Burger.
Johann Maarman is eindredakteur by Die Burger en 'n bekroonde rubriekskrywer.
Nathan Trantraal is 'n strokiesprentkunstenaar en digter van Kaapstad.
Leopold Scholtz is 'n vryskutjoernalis en politieke kommentator.
Barnard Beukman is die redakteur van Beeld.
Gert Coetzee is redakteur van Volksblad.
Herman Lategan is 'n skrywer wie se rubrieke in 'Binnekring van Spookasems' gebundel is.
Sonja Loots is 'n dosent aan die Universiteit van Kaapstad en bekroonde outeur.
Sarel van der Walt is 'n joernalis vir Netwerk24 en 'n voormalige Londen-korrespondent vir Media24.
Charles Smith is Netwerk24 se nuusredakteur in Bloemfontein.
Hallo, jy moet ingeteken wees of registreer om artikels te lees.