Schools reopening in phases

Back to the benches

08 September 2020 | Education

Principal, De Duine SS; Anton van Wyk; “We are coping, despite the challenges…”

Walvis Bay • [email protected]


Grade 7, 8 and 9 learners across the country – excluding the Khomas region – were expected to resume face-to-face learning on Monday.

However, numerous schools in Walvis Bay and Swakopmund indicated that they will only welcome these learners back on Wednesday.

De Duine Secondary School in Narraville, Walvis Bay, is one of the government schools that will only allow their grade 8 and 9s to return back to school on Wednesday.

Principal Anton van Wyk said that the biggest challenge for the school is adhering to social distance protocols.

“The grade 11 and 12s are back at school, and were divided into groups. The same will need to be done with the grade 8 and 9s. The aim is to accommodate about 10 to 15 learners in a class.”

Van Wyk said that the daily timetable also had to be rearranged to accommodate all learners.

“We will have them rotate, with different groups coming to school on alternative days.”

‘Coping’

Van Wyk said that despite the challenges, the school which is home to 1008 learners and 36 teachers, was coping.

“We have numerous teachers at school who have underlying health conditions. Despite this, they show up for work every day. Our goal is to make sure that the learners receive the necessary attention, that everyone stays safe and that we prevent Covid-19. We are trying our best.”

Van Wyk commended parents for their continuous support, saying he is hopeful that things will run smoothly.

Duinesig High School in Kuisebmond welcomed their grade 10s back on Tuesday, with the grade 9s returning on Wednesday and the grade 8s on Thursday.

“The grade 8 and 9s will only come to school for orientation. We will explain what is expected of them and how the classes will work. Lessons resume next week,” principal Stanley Urikhob said.

Other grades

The Dolphin Schools in Walvis Bay already welcomed their grade 7, 8 and 9s back, adding that they are ready to welcome back learners from the other grades as well.

!Nara Primary School in Kuisebmond also welcomed their grade 7s back on Monday. Principal Christina Gontes said in a letter to parents that only a certain number of groups will be able to attend school on some days and others not.

“We do not have enough classrooms or teachers to teach many small groups at the same time. We may also need to close the schools for regular deep cleans.”

The school opted to divide the learners in groups of 20 each.

“Children will be praised and rewarded for sticking to the rules such as social distancing, but sanctioned for breaking rules that will be strictly enforced for everyone’s safety. In extreme cases, these sanctions could include exclusion.”

Gontes said the return of learners to school is vital for the children’s education and psycho-social wellbeing. “We will ensure that all learners can return to a safe learning environment and do it safely,” she said.

Pro-Ed Academy in Swakopmund will welcome back its grade 7, 8 and 9 learners on Wednesday.

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