- Consternation grips parents
- Quarantine centre aide says students don’t want to leave
- Teachers’ union to investigate
Audio recordings circulating on WhatsApp groups have revealed how parents are perturbed that students may be spreading COVID-19 among themselves on purpose so that schools may be ordered closed, The Botswana Gazette has established.
Nxakato Junior Secondary School in Sowa Town, Masunga Senior Secondary School in Masunga and schools in Marapong are among sources of concern for parents about the alleged phenomenon.
A video circulating on social media is particularly disturbing for showing students brazenly hugging one another and expressing delight that they spread the virus in
this manner as a dependable means of going into quarantine.
In more audio recordings, parents relate how they have learnt how students mob around those who test positive in point-blank contact in order to ensure transmission of the deadly virus to themselves and visit those in isolation.
According to an aide at a quarantine centre in Matsiloje, the number of students arriving there may point to young people getting intentionally infected. “The allegations about these students must be true because we are experiencing an influx of schools from Sowa Town, Masunga, Gweta and Marapong,” said the aide who cannot be identified. “What is more perturbing is that they are uncontrollable in quarantine and seem to be happy to be here.”
More disturbing is the revelation that the reluctance of students to leave the quarantine centre after being cleared of infection. “They feign more weakness when they are due to leave,” the aide said in an audio. “Some of them don’t even bring their school books into quarantine because they behave as though they’re on holiday.”
The vice president of Botswana Sectors of Educators Union, Mogomotsi Motshegwa, says the union is aware of the trend. “We just learned from the videos and audio sent to us,” Motshegwa told The Gazette. “We have talked to our ad-hoc team to investigate.”
A spokesman of Botswana Teachers Union, Zweli Tupane, said this calls for inoculation of
teachers as a priority. “After learning about this, we are calling all the civic leaders and Members of Parliament join our call for prioritisation of teachers for COVID jabs,” Tupane said in an interview.
Efforts to contact the Coordinator of Francistown District Health Management Team, Dr Ivan Kgetse, proved futile at the time of going to press.