ONAYENA – The Nehale Senior Secondary School that has become a hotspot for Covid-19 in Oshikoto region, has not been disinfected since the outbreak of the virus. Staff at the school have attributed this as a factor for the increase in new infections. Since the first case was reported on 7 September, the school was not disinfected and closed for that process as considered an appropriate measure.
However, learners continued sharing ablution facilities. Learning and teaching has, however, been suspended indefinitely.
Learners who reportedly sneak out of the hostel and school yard to mingle with members of the community have also exacerbated the situation.
Law enforcement officers have now been deployed to the school to guard the premises as well as maintain law and order. There are over 170 Covid-19 confirmed cases, while a number of learners remain under isolation and quarantine within the school premises. Some are being isolated at facilities accredited by the ministry of health. According to the school principal, John Nakanyala, so far only two learners have recovered, while another 11 are likely to be cleared for recovery soon. The principal further said the school was facing a shortage of basic equipment needed to help fight and curb further spread of the virus. In addition, Nakanyala said the virus is likely to affect the performance of learners if the situation continues, saying it would further complicate the modalities of sitting for examinations in two weeks’ time. These details were revealed during a meeting on Friday organised by the Namibia National Teacher’s Union (Nantu). The union donated disinfectants, sanitiser, masks, gloves and immune boosters. “It is our duty as a union to see to it that your health and wellbeing as our members is not compromised. That is why we saw it fit to come down to the ground and show our support as well as hear concerns. Therefore, we are here to assist you, at any time,” stressed secretary general Loide Shaanika. Meanwhile, the Oshikoto education director Aletta Eises, said the directorate has been working around the clock to provide all necessary support such as psychosocial services to reduce stress and trauma among learners and staff members. Other measures, she said, was the decongestion of staff, revised meal menu in which now learners will be given fruits on a daily basis per meal to help boost their immune system. In addition, the directorate had to provide additional ablution facilities to avoid learners sharing with those that have tested or suspected to be positive. “As teachers, your thinking and caring capacity must be bigger than that of learners. Let us not feed our minds with negative thoughts as that gives a wrong sign which worsens the situation. Therefore, the directorate will not desert you, but will forever provide support until the last cents are spent. Let us all unite and win this fight together,” she said.
Helping hand… Health officials preparing to test some learners at Nehale Senior Secondary School on Friday.
Photo: Obrein Simasiku