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How panic gripped Covid-hit school

2021-03-19  John Muyamba

How panic gripped Covid-hit school
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RUNDU – Panic was the order of the day at Rundu-based Dr Romanus Kampungu Secondary School when the school recorded 72 positive cases of Covid-19. 

The infected at the time included 70 learners and two teachers. 

The situation left pupils traumatised to an extent that the school chose to suspend classes for two weeks and placed the local hostel on lockdown. 

“Since recording our first case for this year on 29 January, learners and teachers were in panic – and since the cases started shooting up, we suspended classes from 16 to 25 of February and only resumed classes on 1 March,” said acting school headmaster Theofillus Kadhimo. 

The school introduced extra classes during afternoons to make up for the time lost during the two weeks when contact lessons were suspended. 

According to Kadhimo, the school engaged the health ministry’s social workers to offer counselling to learners who were in panic and living in fear after contracting the virus. 

“So far, we have had a cumulative record of 72 cases at the school; many have recovered and have returned to school. Our cases are actually all from the hostel – all of them were hostel boarding learners,” Kadhimo said. 

According to the acting headmaster, some learners that have recovered and released from quarantine on Tuesday; only few are still in quarantine. 

“Covid-19 has really affected our learning and teaching in terms of content covering; we are a bit slower than normal because learners or classes are divided into two groups for each class – group A and B – and they come on separate days. So, when group A is on that day, group B is off, which means teachers have to repeat the same lesson twice – and at the end of the day, one group will end up only coming to school twice a week,” he said. 

“The repetition of lessons is affecting the learning and teaching, as it now delays the completion of a syllabus, as we are covering less topics than in a normal circumstance; we are behind with our work.” 

Kadhimo added when school commenced this year, it became a challenge, as some of the learners already had the virus – and when they got there, many contracted it.

“And since all of them came from different places when they reached the hostel, it became a problem, as they were sharing the facility – and also, it is difficult to control learners, especially in the evening when supervisors are not there; they mingle,” he said. 

“We have reduced the number of learners per room – but still, these learners still mingle; we have isolation rooms at the girls’ hostel; we have a quarantine facility where we keep affected learners – and at the boys’ block, we are also renovating an area to be used as a quarantine area for boys.” 

The school has strengthened measures aimed at curbing the further spread of the virus.  

“What we have done is that when the learner is in quarantine, we inform the subject teachers and we keep our database – and when these learners are back at school, we make sure that we keep them updated by giving them some summaries and notes, and assess them later, based on the given content that other learners got as well,” Kadhimo noted.


2021-03-19  John Muyamba

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