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School allegedly allowed Covid-19 positive learners to sit exams | Muhabarishaji News

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Allegations that Solvista Secondary School in Phoenix allowed Covid-19 positive learners to come onto the school premises to write exams on two occasions were of “extreme concern”.

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This was the word from DA member of the provincial legislature and spokesperson on education Dr Imran Keeka on Wednesday.

“Further claims that learners were placed in a position where they were obliged to do so, when they should have been isolating under strict conditions, are equally alarming and require a full investigation.” Keeka said.

According to Covid-19 protocol, no known positive learners are allowed, under any circumstance, to be on school property. Isolation facilities in schools are only there for those identified during screening processes. 

“They are not fit for learning and teaching and they are certainly not fit for writing exams in, as we have seen during recent school oversight inspections. Instead, learners with the virus should be writing following special arrangements to do so at a later stage,” he said.

He said that while the DA welcomed media reports that the police were probing the Solvista matter, this was not enough, as KZN’s Education MEC, Kwazi Mshengu and his Acting HOD, Dr Barney Mthembu still appeared to be “sitting on their hands”. 

“If the most recent incident at the school is thought to be the second time it has happened, then why has the province’s Department of Education (DoE) not yet moved to suspend the Principal? And why has the School Governing Body (SGB) not been dragged over the coals? The alleged incident at Solvista Secondary School is not an isolated issue,” he said.

“Recently, the DA was forced to intervene at an independent school after it was found that the same protocols had been breached. Interestingly, in a move that smacks of double standards, the DoE rushed off there and kicked up a huge fuss which led to the process being stopped,” he said.

Keeka said he had tabled a motion in the KZN Legislature, calling for immediate action against the Solvista school leadership by the DOE. 

“This is the right course of action given that we are only now beginning to emerge from a deadly third surge of the virus. It cannot be that those who may have placed other lives at risk get away with it,” he said.

“The DoE must act to ensure that those who may have been involved are prevented from being in the workplace, pending the outcome of the probe. It also means that in the event that they are found guilty of such conduct, criminal charges must be laid,” Keeka said.

A spokesperson for the KZN Department of Education had not responded to questions at the time of publication.

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