A teacher at Khumalo Primary School in Bulawayo passed away Wednesday at a local hospital allegedly due to Covid-19 related complications causing panic among learners and parents as the teacher reported at the school that morning to clock in for duty, even though ‘she was sick.’
As part of the Ministry of Primary and Secondary Education guidelines, teachers are reportedly supposed to log in on the school registers to show their daily attendance.
“The Grade 5 teacher came in the morning to log in her attendance but she was visibly sick so she had to go back home. We later learnt she died at Hillside Premier Hospital from suspected Covid-19 where she had gone for medical assistance,” sources said.
Sources claimed the deceased teacher’s class and other possible contacts were due for Covid-19 testing although some parents complained that the school authorities were trying to cover up the issue.
“We need clarity on the matter so that we know what steps the school is taking to prevent any possible spread or whether our children are supposed to go for quarantine. This is no time for secrecy because the action we take now is critical to prevent more infections if need be,” queried some worried parents.
The school has, however, cancelled its parents and child consultation day meetings, which were scheduled for this Friday and next Monday.
In an interview with CITE, Director of Communication and Advocacy in the Ministry of Primary and Secondary Education, Taungana Ndoro, assured parents not to panic as the school was taking all the prescribed preventative measures against Covid-19.
“We have no confirmation that the teacher died from Covid-19 but our schools are very safe, there is no need for parents to panic,” he said.
“We have our standard operating procedures that are at the school. These procedures include screening with the thermometer, there are handwashing stations at the schools and we monitor the school very well. Schools are very safe.”
Ndoro highlighted Covid-19 infections among teachers were minimal as nationwide there were about 30 plus who had only been infected by the novel coronavirus.
But he lamented that most of the Covid-19 cases were found among learners.
“We are pleased to note that we are managing the situation as there have been over 700 recoveries. We are pleased that we have managed the Covid-19 outbreak in our schools,” said the education ministry’s communication director.