Wednesday, 9 December 2020

COVID-19 : PUPILS WRITE EXAMS IN ISOLATION

COVID-19 positive pupils and those suspected to be infected in Bulawayo are writing 2020 public examinations in isolation in line with standard operating procedures which have been effective in curbing the spread of the global pandemic in schools.

A teacher at one of the schools said affected pupils were writing in seclusion in separate rooms from the rest of the candidates, under Ministry of Health and Child Care guidelines.

He said the isolation rooms were created to afford the pupils a chance to write their exams without the fear of exposing their invigilators and fellow pupils to infection.

Statistics show that since the phased opening of schools, about 332 pupils have contracted Covid-19 countrywide and they are stable. Under the SOP, hugs, handshakes and sharing of desks are not permitted.

In a case where a pupil tests positive or is suspected to be positive, he or she can continue with examinations in isolation from the rest of the pupils sitting for the examination.

Break and lunch time must be staggered to prevent crowding by learners while sporting activities are banned. A classroom should only accommodate a maximum of 35 pupils to allow for social distancing.

This follows reports that two teachers tested positive at the Bulawayo Adventist High School (BAHS). Authorities say the SOPs are in place and the school has been in liaison with the rapid response team to ensure both teachers and pupils are safe.

The director for education at BAHS Dr Christopher Thebe said SOPs are still in place and the rapid response team had already conducted contact tracing.

“The situation is under control at BAHS and all our pupils are in good health as we speak. We also have one pupil suspected to be Covid-19 positive writing Grade Seven examinations in isolation at Fairview Adventist Primary School,” said Dr Thebe.

He said despite calls by parents to let non-examination classes stop attending school, there was nothing to be worried about as pupils are safe.

“We will continue to implement the SOPs and ensure that our pupils are protected. We still await results for our Grade Seven pupil which will come after a few days.” Chronicle

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