Government says it has started assessing schools safety standards on coronavirus (Covid-190 prevention before reopening.
Malawi’s government announced the indefinite closure of schools on March 20 before the country registered its first three cases of COVID-19, on April 2.
But now Malawi has passed 5,050 cases and 160 deaths.
Principal Secretary in the Ministry of Education, Chikondano Mussa, has since urged the public to be patient as government is working tirelessly to efficiently handle the pandemic.
Mussa was reacting to a leaked report on National Response Plan of Action on schools reopening which has gone viral on social media where among others it is showing that the government is facing over K5 billion deficit to ensure safe return to schools.
“It has come to the attention of the Ministry of Education that there is a document in circulation on social media platforms which is a draft copy of the ongoing discussions concerning the reopening of schools.
“Having noted this, the Ministry of Education would like to convey to the general public that, school readness assessment are now underway and will feed into the school reopening roadmap which will, in turn, be submitted to the Presidential Committee on COVID-19,” reads the statement dated August 19, 2020.
Mussa adds that once all the processes are completed, the ministry will officially announce the schools reopening date as well as the academic and examinations calenders and COVID-19 assessment guidelines and measures.
The leaked National Response Plan of Action shows that the government needs over K5.8 billion to support schools with necessary preventive measures to fight COVID-19.
The move to reopen schools is an apparent response to a request from education activists who last week met President Lazarus Chakwera and told him the closure of schools was jeopardizing the future of students, especially girls.
They cited hundreds of girls across the country who have fallen pregnant and others getting married since the schools closed.
Ministry of Health announced guidelines for school authorities to follow once schools are reopened.
These include temperature checks, documentation of persistent cough or shortness of breath, and routine documentation of students from families affected by COVID-19.
The Health Ministry also recommended washing of hands with soap and water or using hand sanitizer for students, wearing a face mask and observing physical distance.Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :