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Boarding students barred from going home

Goodhope Senior Secondary School PIC: MORERI SEJAKGOMO
Some students who are in boarding schools will not be allowed to travel anywhere during the Easter holidays Mmegi has learnt.

Already Presidential Task Team has issued a press release informing the public that in order to curb the spread of COVID-19 and the resulting deaths, movement of people will be restricted on Easter. Those who were in possession of permits were informed that there are invalidated with immediate effect from March 30, 2021.

According to a memo written to all schools in Kgatleng which reads: “Please be informed that I am in receipt of a communication from the permanent secretary-Ministry of Education indicating that the Permanent secretary to the President has taken a decision that, no public officers, effective March 2021 and during the upcoming Easter holidays will be permitted to take leave unless under exceptional circumstances which shall be approved by the permanent secretary. The above measure will last for two weeks effective March 24,2021, and may be reviewed as appropriate”.

“Given the movement restriction, school heads in boarding are advised to ensure that boarding learners are kept in hostels to use the Easter holidays for revision. Employees are also requested to submit working from home/shifting/flexible working agreement plans and schedules of the school management team, from senior teachers to school head, currently being implemented by the school”, a memo written by Kgatleng regional operations leader Mothusi James says. 

In a meeting that was held by teachers unions, Ministry of Education and Skills Development and Presidential Task Team recently, this publication was

informed that some of the reasons schools cannot be closed are  that students who are boarding might take disease to the community.

When supporting the decision, Botswana Sectors of Educators Trade Union (BOSETU) secretary general Tobokani Rari said the Ministry of Education has taken a wise decision in order to curb the spread of the virus.

“I applaud the decision that was taken by the Ministry of Education.

This will help to control the disease since people will not be allowed to travel and therefore the virus may be contained.

Again in schools, during festive, the school management will be able to easily find out where the virus might be coming from outside or within school,” Rari said in an interview on Wednesday.

Still on the matter, Rari said the move might help curb the rising number of teachers who are dying due to COVID-19 related illnesses.

On similar issue, when briefing the Nation on Wednesday, President Mokgweetsi Masisi said the country continues to experience serious challenges which require collective efforts as a nation.

“As I have previously mentioned, the rapid increase of cases across the country, particularly in Gaborone, Palapye and Francistown has stretched our human and financial resources beyond expectations.

As of March 26, 2021 local cases were 37 452 and 568 deaths recorded. It has been determined that travel during the festive season was a critical factor for this tremendous increase,” Masisi said.


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