Grade 12 important information

BY Mrs K Stear

Letter from the Principal: 12 November 2020
Dear Grade 12s and Parents of Grade 12s
The email from MR HM MWELI, DIRECTOR-GENERAL of the Department of Education, of 9 November containing Circular E31 of 2020 states, inter alia:
Identification of Positive Cases and Legal Responsibility:
“The parents, care-giver or a designated family member of candidates that have tested positive for COVID-19 are obliged to inform the school principal immediately of the positive status of the candidate, so that timeous arrangements can be made for the candidate to write the examination at an isolation venue that complies with the health and safety protocols and also the examination regulations relating to a secure examination.
The parents, care-giver or a designated family member that intentionally conceals the COVID-19 positive status of the candidate in their care will face legal consequences should it be later revealed that this information was wilfully withheld by the parent.
Only candidates that have tested positive and are deemed fit to write an examination, will be allowed to write the 2020 Combined November examination.”
In order for us to arrange for a learner to write, we will need advance warning.  Intentional Concealment can result in legal action.  A parent or guardian will need to write to the school to request assistance with an isolation venue, to confirm they accept an outdoor venue, to confirm there will be full co-operation and to confirm that they deem the candidate to be healthy enough to write. 
Venue for Covid-19 positive cases:
“The Provincial Education Department (PED) will liaise with the Provincial Department of Health and establish isolation venues at selected centres in the province. An isolation venue could be: (a) A quarantine or isolation centre established by the DoH for the purpose of keeping persons in quarantine or in isolation for those that have tested positive for COVID19. A venue identified by the DoH in conjunction with the PED, that will serve as an isolation venue for the purpose of writing the 2020 Combined November examination. This could be a clinic, a room in a hospital, a community hall, a church hall or any other venue, which includes the home, that is conducive to the writing of an examination.”
While Riebeek will attempt to provide a venue for Riebeek learners who test positive, it should be noted that this will be on our own initiative with the appreciation and support of the Provincial Education Department; but it is not a requirement that we do this. We reserve the right to place the onus on the above mentioned entities to make arrangements in conjunction with the guardians or parents if we feel this is necessary.
Invigilation of Candidates who are Covid-19 Positive Cases:
“The individual must be trained to carry out the important task of invigilation. Educators must undertake the responsibility of invigilation on a voluntary basis and cannot be compelled to do so.  The written consent of the individual must be obtained.”
Note that this means it is not the learner’s right to write in an isolation venue provided by the school and it is not the teachers’ jobs to invigilate the learners.  Where we can accommodate learners, it will be because of a volunteer invigilator on our staff and there must be full compliance with any instructions issued by this invigilator. 
Accommodations for learners who do not meet requirements of Screening Questionnaire:
“Candidates that present a temperature of 38°C and above and/or answer “yes” to two or more of the questions on the screening questionnaire must write the examination at an isolation venue at the school, identified and approved by the Principal and School Governing Body, as articulated in Circular E23 of 2020, entitled, Protocol on the Writing of the 2020 3 November Examination in Compliance with the Covid-19 Regulations. These candidates must be referred to a health facility or provider after the examination is written.”
Extra Caution during period of Examinations:
“Candidates are advised to be extra cautious during this period of the examination to minimise their risk of contracting the virus. They should adhere to all health and safety measures and refrain from attending any social gatherings. Candidates must strictly observe the protocols relating to social distancing, wearing of the mask and hand sanitising.”
In the light of the above extract, I remind Grade 12s that masks must be worn over the nose and under the chin, learners must practice social distancing at school and elsewhere.  In addition, learners who are found to have negligent in attending inappropriate social gatherings that do not meet Covid-19 safety protocols may find that we are not willing to accommodate their writing in an isolation venue. 
Furthermore, I wish to insist that there be NO stigmatisation, rumours or slander related to learners who test positive.  A medical diagnosis is a confidential matter and not one that should be discussed by others.  We have put in place rigid protocols to assist learners who test positive and we require full co-operation and support in doing iwhat is in the best interest of each learner of the Class of 2020.
I furthermore wish to remind Grade 12s of the importance of returning textbooks on the day of the last examination in that subject with the name and surname appearing in the book.  An additional burden is placed on the teachers when books are not handed in on the correct day. 
I also want to remind the Grade 12s to be courteous and respectful, and to obey instructions given by the teachers. 
Yours sincerely
Mrs K. Stear

 November 11, 2020
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