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School opening to go ahead: Sanet Steenkamp

The accounting officer for the education ministry, Sanet Steenkamp has said that they are continuing with preparations for the opening of schools for all grades despite the first case of Covid-19 at Mariental Secondary school.

A student who had visited the Erongo region tested positive prompting a lockdown for the entire school for 14 days.

This has reignited the debate as to whether it still made sense to continue with the re-opening of schools, with the Landless People’s Student Command Element nudging the ministry to delay.

“We were aware of the matter since the early morning hours. The matter has been addressed today and the school has been closed for the next two weeks until the 6th of July. In the meantime, the teachers and the learners will do continued learning at their homes. So that is the current situation. There is one teacher as well as 13 learners that have been taken into quarantine and \t this stage we are just calling for calm and request all the parents and guardians to cooperate with the ministry of health at this stage,” she said.

Steenkamp confirmed that the student came from Erongo and went back to school despite being told by his guardian not to.

He later complained of symptoms leading to his being tested.

Coronavirus cases in Namibia have exponentially jumped up and parents are concerned for their children, midst the drive towards schools re-opening.

In South Africa were cases jumped from 70 000 to 80 000 in space of days, some schools have been shut down after students and teachers got infected.

The decision to open had been met with resistance by some unions.

“At the high-level meeting that we had yesterday the ministry will continue. We are continuing with preparations,” she said.

Julia Heita

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