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Staff Reporter

The Free State Department of Education says it is following strict health protocols to ensure that learners who are beneficiaries of the National School Nutrition Programme (NSNP) but have not yet resumed classes do not contract the coronavirus when they fetch their meals at their respective schools.

Provincial education spokesperson Howard Ndaba said the learners are subjected to the standard protocols of social distancing and screening before entering school grounds to limit the possibility of them getting the disease.

“In terms of COVID-19 protocols, as these learners fetch their meals, they must wear their face masks correctly,” Ndaba said after visiting Keaton and Toka primary schools in Bloemfontein to assess the feeding programme.

The two schools have 1 370 and 1 119 learners respectively.

Close to 600 000 learners in the province are benefiting from the programme.

“They are also expected to come to school with containers to receive their meals,” Ndaba said.

“Those that have not yet resumed classes are expected to leave the school premises as soon as they receive their meals,” he added.

“They are encouraged to go straight to their homes.”

The NSNP was designed to ensure learners from poor communities do not sit in class with empty stomachs and thereby struggle to focus on their studies.

Ndaba said schools will provide a staggered programme with different time slots for those learners not yet back at school to avoid overcrowding and maintain physical distancing.

Meanwhile, another teacher at Fauna Primary School in Bloemfontein and an official of the education department based in the city centre have tested positive for COVID-19.

Ndaba said all protocols to trace their immediate contacts and the decontamination of their work places have started.

In the past few days, lessons were suspended at St Mary’s School as well as Calculus, Legae and Bloemfontein Primary School after cases of COVID-19 were reported.

BIG MEAL . . . A worker prepares food for learners under the National School Nutrition Programme

 

ENTERING DATA . . . A learner enters his details as part of the screening process before entering the school grounds

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