Statement by President Cyril Ramaphosa on Escalation of Measures to Combat Covid-19 Epidemic

Covid-19 Lockdown Risk Level 4: Re-opening of schools, with Sizwe Nxasana

NATIONAL EMERGENCY HOTLINE:

0800 029 999

NATIONAL WHATSAPP SUPPORT LINE:

0600-123456

RESPONSE TO THE NATIONWIDE LOCKDOWN EXTENSION
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 10 April 2020

FUTURE NATION SCHOOLS RESPONSE TO THE NATION-WIDE LOCKDOWN EXTENSION

Dear Families of Future Nation Schools

Happy Easter and a blessed long weekend to you, your families and loved ones. As we know, President Cyril Ramaphosa announced the extension of the nation-wide lockdown until the end of April. Details in terms of when the schools will re-open have not yet been provided. We will share information as more details regarding the school calendar become available. We all have to continue to play our part and ensure that coronavirus is eventually overcome by respecting the lockdown regulations and continue to practise good hygiene, wash our hands, maintain social distancing, stay at home and only go out to undertake essential tasks allowed under the State of Disaster Regulations.

Our president has shown exemplary leadership and calls on all of us to care for one another. He also implored all South African citizens to look after the vulnerable and destitute. It is in this regard that I decided to join the Solidarity Fund as a director in charge of fund-raising. The Solidarity Fund has already raised R2bn and deployed most of it in supporting government’s efforts to purchase COVID-19 testing kits, ventilators, personal protective equipment and alleviate hunger by providing emergency food relief to vulnerable households. We are targeting to raise R4bn from companies, foundations and individuals. We have already raised funds from more than 4,000 individuals. All financial donations, no matter how small will make a big difference in the fight against coronavirus. You may visit the Solidarity Fund website at https://www.solidarityfund.co.za to learn more about it and make a donation.

We must take the nation-wide lockdown, restrictions and advice seriously and act responsibly. Remember that we all have a responsibility not only to ourselves, but also to those within our broader community who are particularly vulnerable to the negative impact of coronavirus.

ONLINE WORK, LEARNING AND TEACHING

Future Nation Schools will continue to offer online learning and teaching during the lockdown and until the schools re-open.

Virtual Classrooms

Due to security concerns with the Zoom application as a communication platform, we have decided to stop using Zoom and migrate all of our virtual classrooms and digital communication to Microsoft Teams. Security is of the upmost importance, especially to avoid any possibility of unsuitable material infiltrating our learning and teaching from outside sources. We apologise for the inconvenience caused.

We wish to express our sincere gratitude to all the parents and students who have supported the learning and teaching through connection with various means of interactive classes and submitting the required assessments. However, we continue to have students who are not active in their learning (i.e. not joining the virtual classrooms, nor submitting the required work). As a school we hereby wish to request that all parents be involved in the virtual lessons and check that their children submit the required work.

Following the extension of the lockdown until end of April, the teachers will share a revised timetable for the assessments that the students will be required to submit. These assessments will contribute towards the term marks; therefore, it is compulsory for every student to submit the required work. Our teachers will increase the content of learning and teaching materials sent and the use of virtual classrooms in the next coming weeks. I would like to plead with our parents to support their children in joining and meaningfully participating in the virtual classrooms.

We will remain in touch if there are any major developments during the nation-wide lockdown.

Best wishes and keep safe.

Sizwe Nxasana

CEO and Founder – Sifiso Learning Group and Future Nation Schools

For the latest information relating to how we are managing the COVID-19 outbreak and the mitigation of actions taken to reduce risk of infection please go to www.futurenationschools.com

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CLOSURE OF SCHOOLS IN RESPONSE TO CORONAVIRUS
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15 March 2020

To: All FUTURE NATION SCHOOLS and PRESCHOOL parents, teachers, admin staff, students

CLOSURE OF SCHOOLS IN RESPONSE TO CORONAVIRUS

Following the announcement by President Ramaphosa and declaration of the state of emergency, Future Nation Schools and Preschools will close from Wednesday 18 March 2020.The last day of school for students is Tuesday 17 March 2020.

All teachers and admin staff will report for duty on Wednesday morning 18 March to finalize school administration issues before closing. Future Nation Schools will communicate shortly regarding our plans to support learning teaching going forward should disruptions continue.

All end of term-1 exhibitions and one-on-one contact meetings with parents are cancelled. Communications with parents must be done through electronic or digital platforms.

The Sifiso Learning Group Head Office will remain open during normal working hours in the period of school closure. We will set up a helpline at Head Office to respond to parent queries. The details of the helpline will be announced as soon as possible.

Issued by : Sizwe Nxasana
CEO and Founder.

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POLICIES & GUIDELINES IN RESPONSE TO CORONAVIRUS
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14 March 2020

FUTURE NATION SCHOOLS RESPONSE TO CORONAVIRUS

The following provides guidance on how Future Nation Schools is dealing with coronavirus. We understand that our staff, students, parents, service providers and visitors are likely to have their own coronavirus precautions, policies or practices. However, we expect everyone who visits our schools to comply with our coronavirus policies and rules.

The advice we are following is both from the World Health Organization (WHO) and local government bodies and is continually monitored and updated.

ON CAMPUS LEARNING AND TEACHING GUIDE

Learning and teaching

Our learning and teaching will continue as normal with heightened cleaning protocols to be agreed with our facilities service providers.

School Excursions

All school excursion are postponed for the remainder of term 1. We will update our staff, students and parents as South Africa’s response unfolds. 

Open Days

As a health precaution we are postponing the open days scheduled for 14 March at Fleurhof and 18 April at Lyndhurst.

Group staff or parents meetings

We must avoid physical meetings wherever possible. For meetings, please use remote technology if possible (Zoom, Skype, etc.) to help avoid the spread of coronavirus.

Parents and PAC Meetings or events

Please reconsider or avoid meeting in person or group events where this is possible. We encourage the use of digital communications platforms or remote technology to collaborate via teleconferencing instead of meeting in person. For any gathering, the host must please remind attendees of simple measures to lower risk and prevent spread of viruses (not shaking hands, practicing social distancing, etc).

Food and catering

Consider staggering food and drink stations, and serve food in individual units like bag lunches, individual water bottles, etc. Avoid serving foods where multiple hands will touch the food (e.g., cocktail foods, bowls of nuts, chips, biscuits). Provide serving utensils if needed or arrange for food to be served by staff who are trained in safe food handling. 

Visitors to Future Nation Schools

Visit and events organizers should know and understand restrictions and other considerations based on the COVID-19 status of the areas that participants are traveling from. Before attending any event at Future Nation Schools,
please note the period of quarantine for travelers returning from any affected countries is 14 days.  This also includes visitors who had only a stop-over, as well as those who originated from any affected countries.

 

What to do if FNS children, students or staff become unwell and believe they have been exposed to COVID-19

Inform the parents or guardians immediately if it is a student. All suspected cases must be reported to the principal or Head of Schools immediately. Failure to report will be treated as a serious issue for those who become aware and fail to report. The Principals and Head of Schools must report to the Group CEO/Founder immediately.

The Future Nation Schools will call the Covid-19 hotline number 0800 002 9999 phone service for further advice.

Whilst waiting for advice from the Covid-19 hotline number or an ambulance to arrive, the responsible and nominated person at each campus must try to find somewhere safe for the unwell person to sit which is at least 2 metres away from other people. If possible, find a room or area where they can be isolated behind a shut door, such as our sick bay, staff office or meeting room. If it is possible to open a window, do so for ventilation. They should avoid touching people, surfaces and objects and be advised to cover their mouth and nose with a disposable tissue when they cough or sneeze and put the tissue in the bin. If no bin is available, put the tissue in a bag or pocket for disposing in a bin later. If you don’t have any tissues available, they should cough and sneeze into the crook of their elbow. The room will need to be cleaned once they leave.

If they need to go to the bathroom whilst waiting for medical assistance, they should use a separate bathroom if available.

Make sure that FNS children and students know to tell a member of staff if they feel unwell.

All members of staff including service providers must report cases of suspected Covid-19 to the Principals and Head of Schools

What to do if students or staff at FNS are contacts of a confirmed case of COVID-19

The definition of a contact includes:

  • any student or staff member in close face-to-face or touching contact including those undertaking small group work (within 2 metres of the case for more than 15 minutes)
  • talking with or being coughed on for any length of time while the individual is symptomatic
  • anyone who has cleaned up any bodily fluids of the individual
  • close friendship groups
  • any student or staff member living in the same household as a confirmed case,

Contacts are not considered cases and if they are well, they are very unlikely to have spread the infection to others, however:

  • they will be asked to self-isolate at home for 14 days from the last time they had contact with the confirmed case, and follow the advice from the Covid-19 emergency hotline 0800 002 9999
  • if they develop any symptoms within their 14-day observation period they should call 0800 002 9999 or hospitals listed below for assessment
  • if they become unwell with cough, fever or shortness of breath they will be tested for COVID-19
  • if they require emergency medical attention, 0800 002 9999 and tell the call handler or ambulance control that the person has a history of potential contact with COVID-19
  • if they are unwell at any time within their 14-day observation period and they test positive for COVID-19 they will become a confirmed case and will be treated for the infection.

Family and friends who have not had close contact (as listed above) with the original confirmed case do not need to take any precautions or make any changes to their own activities such as attending childcare or educational settings or work, unless they become unwell. If they become unwell, they should call 0800 002 9999 and explain their symptoms and discuss any known contact with the case to consider if they need further assessment.

If a confirmed case occurs in at Future Nation Schools our Principals or HR Department will provide you with advice and will work with the Principals or Head of Schools. Outside those that are defined as close contacts, the rest of the schools do not need to take any precautions or make any changes to their own activities attending school or work as usual, unless they become unwell. If they become unwell they will be assessed as a suspected case depending on their symptoms. This advice applies to teaching and administration staff and students in the rest of the class who are not in a close friendship group or students undertaking small group work. The decision as to whether students and staff fall into this contact group or the closer contact group will be made between the Principal and SMT. Advice should be given as follows:

  • if they become unwell with cough, fever or shortness of breath they will be asked to self-isolate and should seek medical advice from 0800 002 9999.
  • if they are unwell at any time within the 14 days of contact and they are tested and are positive for COVID-19 they will become a confirmed case and will be treated as such.

How to clean our schools in case where there were students or staff with suspected cases of COVID-19

Coronavirus symptoms are similar to a flu-like illness and include cough, fever, or shortness of breath. Once symptomatic, all surfaces that the suspected case has come into contact with must be cleaned using disposable cloths and household detergents, according to current recommended workplace legislation and practice.

These include:

  • all surfaces and objects which are visibly contaminated with body fluids
  • all potentially contaminated high-contact areas such as toilets, door handles, telephones

Public areas where a symptomatic individual has passed through and spent minimal time in (such as corridors) but which are not visibly contaminated with body fluids do not need to be specially cleaned and disinfected. If a person becomes ill in a shared space, these should be cleaned as detailed above.

What to do with rubbish including tissues if students or staff become unwell with suspected COVID-19

All waste that has been in contact with the individual, including used tissues, and masks if used, should be put in a plastic rubbish bag and tied when full. The plastic bag should then be placed in a second bin bag and tied. It should be put in a safe place and marked for storage until the result is available. If the individual tests negative, this can be put in the normal waste.

Should the individual test positive, the cleaners must seek advice from their supervisors and will be instructed what to do with the waste.

Practice everyday prevention:

Wash your hands frequently

Regularly and thoroughly clean your hands with an alcohol-based hand rub or wash them with soap and water.

Future Nation Schools students, staff and visitors should wash their hands:

  • before leaving home
  • on arrival at school
  • after using the toilet
  • after breaks and sporting activities
  • before food preparation
  • before eating any food, including snacks
  • before leaving school

Why? Washing your hands with soap and water or using the sanitisers if available at school.

Maintain social distancing

Maintain at least 1 metre (3 feet) distance between yourself and anyone who is coughing or sneezing.

Avoid touching eyes, nose and mouth

Why? Hands touch many surfaces and can pick up viruses. Once contaminated, hands can transfer the virus to your eyes, nose or mouth. From there, the virus can enter your body and can make you sick.

Practice respiratory hygiene

Make sure you, and the people around you, follow good respiratory hygiene. This means covering your mouth and nose with your bent elbow or tissue when you cough or sneeze. Then dispose of the used tissue immediately.

Why? Droplets spread virus. By following good respiratory hygiene, you protect the people around you from viruses such as cold, flu and COVID-19.

If you have fever, cough and difficulty breathing, seek medical care early

Stay home if you feel unwell. If you have a fever, cough and difficulty breathing, seek medical attention and call in advance. Follow the directions of your local health authority.

Remember that Coronavirus virus and its impact on all of us is an evolving situation. We all need to remain calm, but take all the necessary precautions in line with the South African government’s guidelines and best practice as determined by the World Health Organisation.

What should I do if I think I have coronavirus?

Call the hotline number  0800 002 9999 phone service for further advice.

If you have insurance or medical aid:

Call your GP  or the nearest Blood lab, Ampath, Du Buisson or a similar lab-group to assist you.

Do not go before calling the medical team, so that they can prepare themselves to assist you on your arrival.

If you do not have medical aid:

Visit a listed government hospital

 Gauteng

  1. Charlotte Maxeke Hospital

Parktown, Johannesburg, Telephone number 012 354 1826

  1. Steve Biko Hospital

Steve Biko Road, Pretoria Telephone number 012 354 1000

  1. Thembisa Hospital

Hospital View,Tembisa Telephone number- 011 926 8445

Free state and Northern Cape

  1. Pelonomi Hospital Heidedal, Bloemfontein-Telephone number- 051 405 1911
  2. Kimberley Hospital Civic Centre, Kimberley-Telephone number- 053 802 9111

Eastern Cape

Livingston Hospital Lindsay Rd, Port Elizabeth-Telephone number- 041 405 9111

Western Cape- Cape Town

Tygerberg Hospital, Tygerberg Hospital Tygerberg-Telephone  number -021 938 4911

KwaZulu Natal

Greys Hospital Hill, Pietermaritzburg –Telephone number 033 897 3000

Mpumalanga

Rob Ferreira Hospital Sonheuwel, Nelspruit- Telephone number- 013 741 3031

Limpopo

Polokwane Hospital Cnr. Hospital & Dorp St, Polokwane-Telephone number- 015 287 5000

Northwest

Klerksdorp Hospital Neserhof, Klerksdorp-Telephone number -018 406 4600

How to cope with Anxiety About Coronavirus (COVID-19)

Feelings of fear, anxiety, sadness, and uncertainty are normal during a pandemic. The following strategies can assist with managing the stress:

Reading the news from reliable sources

Recognizing the things you can control, like having good hygiene

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