Cape Times

Online learning saves pupils as schools close

- YOLISA TSWANYA yolisa.tswanya@inl.co.za

ONLINE learning has become a saving grace for pupils at independen­t schools, as schooling has been able to continue amid positive Covid-19 cases.

Curro Century City has reported a Covid-19-positive staff member.

Executive manager for communicat­ions for Curro, Mari Lategan, said: “The teacher is not back at school yet and no other teachers or pupils have tested positive. We have continued with online learning throughout.”

The positive test delayed the reopening of the school and, in a letter to parents, Curro said staff would be undergoing testing and would be going into quarantine.

It said it would reopen once it had been confirmed that it was able to operate.

“At the moment, all procedures regarding deep cleaning and sanitising of the school are being undertaken in terms of our approved standard operating procedures.”

The Independen­t Schools Associatio­n of Southern Africa’s executive director, Lebogang Montjane, said Curro was not one of their members. “When a teacher or pupil tests positive, we go back to those areas and we do a deep cleaning and then we do tracing.”

He said independen­t schools were fortunate to still be online.

“One of the advantages of remote learning is your educationa­l portfolio will be on a cloud for you to access at any point, ” he said.

Western Cape Education Department spokespers­on Bronagh Hammond said that at public schools, as of Friday two pupils tested positive and 66 employees had been confirmed positive for Covid19.

“If there has been a confirmed case of Covid-19, then the school is required to contact the district for assistance in terms of further cleaning. In all other cases, schools should follow the guidelines and protocols for cleaning. We are trying to ensure that we can assist schools as fast as possible so that there is minimum disruption. We are now working towards July 6 in terms of the delivery of additional personal protective equipment to schools and the plans around the safety of pupils in this next phase,” Hammond said.

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