Military veterans assist local school with Covid-19 compliance

FIGHTING THE VIRUS: The South African Military Veterans in the Chris Hani district have introduced a programme to help schools fight the Covid-19 pandemic. Chairperson Sipho Ngwetsheni, left, and Lucas Mase, right, a former uMkhonto we Sizwe (MK) combatant and a South African National Defence Force navy officer were enforcing compliance at John Noah High School Picture: SUPPLIED

As former combatants who rendered military service in the country, the South African Military Veterans Association in the Chris Hani district have introduced a programme to ensure compliance in local schools during the Covid-19 pandemic.

Regional chairperson, Sipho Ngwetsheni, said the programme was to assist schools through the difficulties of the Covid-19 outbreak. “We want military veterans to be part of the support teams to local schools and work together with these institutions to minimise the spread of the virus. We want to assist by ensuring there is discipline and compliance,” said Ngwetsheni.

He added that the association had built a partnership with John Noah High School and was hoping to get other schools on board.

With the re-opening of schools, this programme is aimed at making sure pupils are safe and protected. We plead with school governing bodies and principals to work together with us in this project.”

Ngwetsheni said a member of the association who was stationed at the school helped with the screening process and sanitisation. “With this programme we want to make sure that social distancing is observed in classrooms and during break times. We understand that some of these young people tend to smoke and, as we all know, the use of tobacco is currently banned in our country and has negative effects on one’s health. We want to maintain good discipline by making sure that rules and regulations are adhered to.”

Ngwetsheni indicated that members of the association were voluntarily providing these services and, according to reports, pupils at John Noah were positive and happy to be back at school. “Teachers have showed their appreciation because they were worried about how pupils would react. I am told discipline is at its highest point and this is our way of contributing during the pandemic,” he said.

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