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[LISTEN] NAPTOSA: Schools the Safest Place for Children During COVID-19

Jun 09, 2020


Faizel Patel – 09/06/2020

(Twitter: @FaizelPatel143)

The President of National Professional Teachers’ Organisation of South Africa (Naptosa) says while schools may not be the most dangerous place for children to be at during the COVID-19 pandemic, it is the safest place to be in terms of what happens in communities.

It was back to school for over one million Grade 7 and matric pupils on Monday as schools reopened for the first time after the March Covid-19 pandemic forced the country into lockdown.

However, with the reopening of schools, there are already eleven educators and at least one learner who have tested positive for Covid-19 – and that is only in Gauteng.

Speaking to Radio Islam, Naptosa’s Basil Manuel says the organisation initially did have issues with learners returning to schools.

“Our issues were around that we’ve put in place enough protective mechanisms to protect both the the teachers and are far more vulnerable as adults and of course to protect the children by extension to. That is what caused some of the delays. But by yesterday, we were comfortable that in fact we have done enough to ensure that our teacher and our learners are safe.”

Manuel says the teachers and learners testing positive for COVID-19 was expected.

“This is not something we didn’t foresee. But of course, it does cause panic, it causes anxiety because of the whole safety issues comes into question again. But we are now in a position where we are saying well let’s see what happens and let’s see how we deal with it in the next couple of days. That will teach us a lot about the next week and the following weeks to come when the next cohort of learners comes in.”

Manuel says that while the Basic Education Department has standard operating procedures in place that spell out protocols about COVID-19, it should not be left to the principal of a school to make a medical decision.

Listen to the interview with Basil Manuel 





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