• July 10th, 2020

Indemnity forms: Negligent schools answerable 

The ministry of education said there is nothing wrong with schools asking parents to sign indemnity forms in relation to Covid-19. 
Following advice from the attorney general, the ministry said the Education Act of 2001, or any Namibian law, does not prohibit the issuing of indemnity forms, making it legally enforceable provided conditions are not unlawful. However, negligent schools would be taken to task. “In terms of common law, educational institutions must care towards learners and employees and an indemnity form cannot absolve a school that was negligent and failed to honour their legal obligation. An indemnity form is negated by negligence or wrongful misconduct,” executive director in the ministry Sanet Steenkmap said in a statement addressed to regional directors. She also added an indemnity form cannot be used as a shield where there is misconduct and negligence.

 “Only in cases where schools have put into place all the necessary prescribed measures and protocols around Covid-19 and a learner contracts the infection, which is not attributable to the school, will the school be absolved of liability,” read the statement. 
Some private schools have asked parents to sign indemnity forms once pupils return to school. St George’s Diocesan School is one of the schools that have made such a request. The school said it ordinarily requires parents to sign indemnity forms when pupils go on school trips and sports tours. Concerned parents took on the school recently and wanted to know why they should sign indemnity forms if the school does not want to take responsibility when it comes to the Covid-19 pandemic. 

The school management said it understood the grave concerns parents have with regards to the risks associated with Covid-19 and therefore advised them to fully acquaint themselves with the school’s health and safety measures.  – psiririka@nepc.com.na

Paheja Siririka
2020-06-26 10:08:47 | 14 days ago

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