Botswana Sectors of Educators Trade Union (BOSETU) says the spread of the coronavirus (COVID-19) in schools could be minimised if all adhere to required health standards.
Recently, some learners and teachers tested positive for the virus with cases detected at Terrence Private School in Mogoditshane and Masa Primary School at Phase II. All the schools are in the in Greater Gaborone.
Terrence Private School registered 27 cases of COVID-19 positive students from different classes, and one teacher.
The school’s positive results also traced a viral link to two parents, whose children attend the school, and another positive case to a friend of one of the students.
For Masa Primary School, a total of eight people tested positive, four teachers and four pupils. While at Botswana Open University the 32 people were tested, 31 were negative and only one is awaiting results.
At Bonnington Junior Secondary School, 179 individuals were tested and only 65 came out negative while the rest are awaiting their results.
BOSETU secretary general, Tobokani Rari said the reason the country finds itself in this crisis is because some schools are not adhering to required COVID-19 standards.
“For us to reduce these cases or the spread of the virus amongst students and teachers,
“As BOSETU we have tried to write letters to the Director of Health regarding failure to adhere to COVID-19 regulations or standards by some schools, but he decided to ignore us and we are blaming him for what is happening in schools.”
Rari noted the danger in schools is that they have a high population and that is why the country found such high numbers.
He emphasised the use of public transport or student transportation should be looked into and assess how both the ministry and parents can best address it.
“This is the [first] time the ministry is taking our suggestions very seriously. We need to put our differences aside and look at the bigger picture,” Rari said.
“Again, even those schools that had not adhered to required standards, they need to be assisted without compromising health for students and teachers in private and government schools.
[The] Ministry of Health [and Wellness] should not relax regulations in schools.”