by Cloete Luqman
TEACHERS at Mariental Primary School refused to return to work after two colleagues tested positive for Covid-19.
Last Thursday, all staff at the school underwent Covid-19 tests following confirmation of the status of their two colleagues.
The school was disinfected the same day the teachers took the Covid-19 tests.
The teachers said the principal, Manfred Morris Isaack, had instructed them through the school’s WhatsApp group platform, except those with high-risk for Covid-19, to return to school and wait for further directives from the health and education regional directorate.
The teachers, however, preferred to self-isolate at home rather than to resume work until such time they receive the outcome of their Covid-19 tests.
The test results were still not available by yesterday afternoon, the teachers claimed.
“Mr Isaack, I am not going to school with all due respect …honestly, I am waiting for my (Covid-19) test results at home,” responded one of the teachers on social media to the directive to return to school.
“Without knowing each other’s results, we must go back to school? After tomorrow if results came back positive, we must run around to be tested again. Not me testing again…we only have one life, so one has to take care of it,” another WhatsApp message reads.
The teachers also demanded that any directive to return to school be put in writing so that the authors are held responsible if things go wrong.
Isaacks yesterday confirmed that only 10 out of about 50 staff members had resumed work, saying he made the call for them to return as per a directive from the regional education directorate.
He says the directive stipulates that teachers must return to school, except those with high-risk, and practise the health protocols of mask wearing and social distancing while doing their administrative work.
“The teachers must just adhere to the laid-down directives and regulations from the high office,” he stressed.
Isaack also rejected claims that he did not take the Covid-19 test.
“I was tested on Friday, since I could not be tested on Thursday when all staff were undergoing Covid-19 tests,” he said.
Isaack also condemned staff members for having leaked “in-house” issues to the media.