WCED seeks to allay parent confusion, distress around COVID-19 rules

WC MEC Debbie Schafer said several parents had reported to the department that they had been asked by schools to sign an indemnity form before their children were allowed to return to class.

FILE: MEC Debbie Schafer said the first two weeks of school for Grade 7 and 12 pupils had proceeded well. Picture: EWN

CAPE TOWN – Education MEC Debbie Schafer said overall, the first two weeks of school for Grade 7 and 12 pupils had proceeded well.

However, she said two issues were causing confusion and distress. These were the signing of indemnity forms, and the cleaning and isolation protocol following the confirmation of positive cases at schools.

Schafer said several parents had reported to the department that they had been asked by schools to sign an indemnity form before their children were allowed to return to class.

“The WCED does not support the use of such forms and these do not remove legal responsibility from the department. Parents don’t have to sign such forms and their children may not be refused entry if they do not sign one.”

Schafer stressed a confirmed case did not necessarily require a school to be closed as in each case a number of factors were considered when making that decision.

“[These include] where the affected staff member or learner has physically been present at the school and how many direct contacts there have been to the confirmed case. Only the direct contacts need to isolate for a period of 14 days from the date of last contact. Casual contacts do not need to isolate, but they should be monitored for any symptoms of COVID-19.”

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