PSA wants Limpopo schools closed amid rising Covid-19 cases
PORT ELIZABETH - The Public Servants Association (PSA) in a statement on Monday has called on the command council to close Limpopo schools amid concerns that most that have reopened are without water and proper sanitation needed to contain the spread of the coronavirus and promote good hygiene practices.
"The call for more than 100 schools to be closed nationally should be a wakeup call to the provincial command council," the PSA said, adding that the closure of schools should allow the time to properly prepare "them before the problems become unmanageable".
The PSA said that while education was important, it should not be at the expense of the safety of teachers and learners.
"The problems experienced by many schools in Limpopo ... have the potential to increase the spread of the Covid-19 virus," the PSA said.
It said that more than 50 schools remained closed. "Schools in Blouberg municipality such as Letsoaka Primary, Mphela High experienced intermittent water supply, while Seshego High did not have water at all.
"Mydarling and Maripo Primary schools had dysfunctional thermometers hence educators and learners entered schools without scanning of temperatures.
"The learners at Seshego High could not receive their food and entered schools without being scanned, only to be scanned after 9am when a scanner was borrowed from another school," the association said.
The PSA says that 90 percent of schools in Limpopo had not set up the Covid-19 steering committees nor had they appointed compliance officers in accordance with safety directives.
"These committees and compliance officers are responsible to constantly check that the safety measures are implemented and adhered to. Safety measures in these schools are found to be partly implemented or not implemented at all, which puts the lives of educators and learners at risk."
The PSA said attributed the "alarming" increase of infections in schools to "compromised safety measures and unpreparedness of schools".
"It is clear that, social distancing is not being observed, water supply is not adequate, lack of proper sanitation and screening processes compromised."
The PSA also said that the education department's lack of transparency on the positive Covid-19 cases in schools was an attempt to hide its failures but also compromised the school personnel and learners.
It also said principals who continue to allow learners at into schools without the necessary protocols such as screening and temperature scanning, and without water and toilets must face the law as the accounting officers at schools.