GEORGE NEWS - A number of staff members and learners have tested positive for Covid-19 at local schools since classes for Grade 12 and 7 resumed on 1 June.
Conville Primary seems to carry the brunt of infections, with two educators and two class assistants having tested positive, causing 14 educators to go into self-isolation, and only 14 out of the 131 learners having shown up for class.
Principal Sam Crowley says he has sent out letters to parents informing them that it is safe for children to come back to school, as the school was sanitized last Friday, 19 June. "I have received no response from parents about sending their children back to school. And the curriculum is going forward," he says.
Nicky Josephs, the chairman of the school governing body, says as a parent he agrees with parents who decide not to send their children back to school. He says it's impossible to tell whether the virus was contracted through physical contact with objects at the school or brought there by people.
One of the first schools to announce that a learner had tested positive was George High, followed by Tyholorha Primary. These were followed in quick succession by York High, Mzxolo Primary and HTS Eden.
Before HTS Eden's acting principal, Kobus Koekemoer, came forward with the information about a positive case at the school, a worried parent said they thought the principal was trying to hide it by not being open and honest about it. When George Herald asked Koekemoer about a possible Covid-19 case at the school, he referred us to the Education Department, saying they have all the facts.
Bronagh Hammond, the communications director for the Department of Education, said they only have statistics per education district, not on George specifically.
She said as of 15 May, seven cases of employees who work at schools in the Eden and Central Karoo District were reported, while four cases of learners who are Covid-19 positive were reported since 19 June.
Hammond says the curriculum has been amended for Grades 1 to 11. The full Grade 12 curriculum is still in place.
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