File picture: African News Agency (ANA)
File picture: African News Agency (ANA)

Western Cape education department won't name schools hit by Covid-19

By IOL reporter Time of article published Jun 11, 2020

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Cape Town – The Western Cape Education Department says it has a duty to protect the confidentiality of pupils and ensure that individual schools are not stigmatised, while acknowledging the public has a right to be informed about Covid-19 cases at schools. 

This was stated by Education MEC Debbie Schäfer as 66 staff members have tested positive for the coronavirus – more than half of them in the Cape Metro – since the reopening of schools for Grade 7s and matrics in the Western Cape last week Monday.

It has been reported that Florida High School in Ravensmead has lost a teacher, Faizel Adam, to Covid-19 – believed to be the first teacher in the country to have fallen victim to the virus. 

“The WCED has issued clear guidelines to schools on how to manage confirmed and suspected cases. Covid-19 as well as the preventative measures at all school must be implemented daily," said Schäfer, the SABC reported. 

"These have been developed with health authorities to ensure that our staff and learners are as safe as possible at schools and are available on the WCED website. 

"Obviously parents of learners as well as staff at a school where there is a positive case are entitled to know about it and the school will inform them accordingly, as well as all measures they have taken to ensure the safety of all concerned.”

Education Department spokesperson Kerry Mauchline said earlier the schools will not be named in line with confidentiality clauses. 

She said the positive tests are not a confirmation that the virus was contracted at the school, but that some of the staff members had it before the reopening.

Condolences have been pouring in for Adam, hailed by some as "one of the best teachers ever", on social media, with one Facebook user commenting: "This is still unbelievable. We lost a teacher, coach, mentor & father. There's a lot to say about Mr Adam honestly. I believe he was role model to us all. We all looked up to this man.

"I remember my last days being at Florida High when Mr Adam told me 'Enige iets is moontlik in hierdie wêreld, jy moet net jou gedagtes op dit sit & jou alles gee (Anything is possible in this world. You just have to put your mind to it and give it your all). I still live unto the words that he told me from that day.

"Mr Adam was an honourable man. He was one of the teachers that you could always go to when you had a problem; he'd always be willing to help others.

"He was a leader, an idol, someone to look up to and everything. To all to those who knew him, we will forever remember him. My deepest condolences goes to his family. May your soul rest in peace Mr Adam."

IOL

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