A teacher in the Free State had told Inside Education that the education authorities in the province and the Department of Education (DBE) “does not really care” about their health and safety.
This comes after one of the screeners at the educator’s school tested positive for Covid-19.
The teacher said they were told to come back to school only two days after the incident even though the screener had been in contact with everyone at the school.
“On Monday the school had to close down because one of the screeners tested positive. The shocking part is that they only gave the schools two days to fumigate and do everything.
“My main concern is how are they allowing us to come back after two days when that lady was in contact with everyone at school,” said the teacher who cannot be named for fear of victimisation.
Just yesterday, Free State Education MEC Tate Makgoe reported that a learner from Lephola Secondary School in Thabong, Welkom has died from Covid-19 complications.
Makgoe said the school was closed on Wednesday following the incident and will re-open on Monday.
The MEC said eight learners have also tested positive for the virus and eight more are awaiting the results.
One learner succumbed to the Covid 19 related complications, said Makgoe.
The Free State province has been hard hit by the pandemic.
Covid-19 numbers have in recent weeks been rising in the Free State, leading some to fear that the province might be at the beginning of a third wave of infections.
Questions are also being asked about the ability of the healthcare system to cope with a potential third wave and its ability to rapidly roll out vaccines.
According to the National Institute for Communicable Diseases (NICD), at a provincial level, the Free State province is currently experiencing a third wave. As of Thursday, 102 COVID-19 related deaths have been reported with four deaths Eastern Cape, six in the Free State, 24 in Gauteng, four KwaZulu-Natal, Limpopo five, Mpumalanga four, North West 45, Northern Cape 0 and Western Cape nine which brings the total deaths in the country to 56 077.
NICD said in the past week, the Northern Cape Province reported the highest weekly incidence risk at 170.3 cases per 100 000 persons. This is followed by the Free State Province with 83.2 cases per 100 000 persons and the North West Province at 41.4 cases per 100 000 persons.
The Free State teacher said, “We are at risk but we were told we are going to have to come back with a stringent plan in terms of how we are going to have to make up for the time lost.”
“This is when we realised that these people are saying no to our request to stay for a week at home and self isolate. We may as well go back to school after those two days,” said the educator.
The educator added: “Sometimes the sad reality is that as much as Covid-19 is killing people, we are being requested to be at school and apply all these rules. In the end, they don’t really care.”