Latest News Editor's Choice

News / Local

Parent visiting days remain banned

by Staff reporter
08 Jan 2023 at 09:35hrs | Views
PARENTS and guardians remain banned from visiting learners at boarding schools as Covid-19 prevention protocols remain in place.

This comes ahead of the opening of schools tomorrow. Health officials in the country have been calling on people to remain vigilant as fresh cases of the pandemic continue to be recorded.

A new variant of the Covid-19 virus, XBB, which is a sub lineage of the Omicron variant has been detected in more than 80 countries with Botswana having detected cases towards the end of last year.

The Ministry of Health and Child Care cordoned off boarding schools in 2021 from visitors during the term as the bulk of Covid-19 infections were recorded at the institutions.

Traditionally, boarding schools have set visiting days during the term where learners can be visited by their families and interact for a day. However, following the increase of infections within boarding schools the Ministry stopped the visits and has not allowed parents to visit their children since then.

The Ministry of Primary and Secondary Education has emphasised that nothing will change relating to the ban as the national Covid-19 protocols are still effective.

"Covid-19 protocols are still in place in our schools. We follow national Covid-19 guidelines," said the Ministry's director of communications and advocacy, Mr Taungana Ndoro in a telephone interview yesterday.

In 2021 the Government also reduced intakes at boarding schools as a preventative measure to allow learners to learn and live in a safe environment where social distancing was possible.

Schools were prohibited from taking additional learners outside the permissible numbers in a bid to contain the situation.

Cabinet last year opened schools in compliance with the Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) of the Prevention and Management of Covid-19 as well as other Influenza like illnesses. The SOPs are minimum terms of operation that are set to ensure schools operate in a safe environment without risking a spike in new infections.

Handshakes, hugs and sharing of desks were prohibited and still remain prohibited in schools while classroom occupancy was reduced to 35 learners per classroom to cater for social distancing. Learners have been sanitising as they enter the premises of their schools and masking up to ensure there is no spread of the virus.

Source - The Sunday News