Naptosa worried about rising COVID-19 infections ahead of matric exams

Naptosa's Basil Manuel said he was opposed to the relaxation of any health safety measures decreasing social distancing to half a meter in schools.

FILE: Grade 7 pupils at a Western Cape primary school on 1 June 2020 sit in class after schools reopened following a national coronavirus lockdown, which started on 27 March 2020. Picture: @WCEDnews/Twitter.

CAPE TOWN - Teachers' union Naptosa fears rising COVID-19 infections could impact the matric class of 2021.

Grade 12 learners begin preliminary exams this week but schools in KwaZulu-Natal have recorded 780 new cases over the past week, Northern Cape schools saw 526 and the Eastern Cape recorded 400.

Naptosa's Basil Manuel on Tuesday said he was opposed to the relaxation of any health safety measures decreasing social distancing to half a meter in schools.

“We think it will create super spreader events in schools,” he said.

He was also worried about the effect this could have on matriculants.

“This is going to be their first exam they’re writing in preparation for the end of the year, and if these infections are still running rampant, you can imagine that is going to have a major impact on whether some schools will complete or every learner will complete the exam.”

Manuel said pupils and teachers could not afford further disruptions to schooling.

“However, we are in the midst of a pandemic, and it is not out of choice that schools will be disrupted and there is nothing you can do about that. We are worried about time, we are worried about the sheer number of days that are lost,” Manuel added.

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