Concerned Students of Malawi, which is a group comprising of students from different institutions, have called on the government to open schools with immediate effect and end the extention on the closure of schools as a Covid-19 control measure.
Concerned Students publicity secretary, Kelvin Kasanga, told journalist on Thursday at Nkhwazi Lodge in Blantyre that government did not consider the effects that last year’s closure of schools had on students, particularly the girl child.
“Firstly, we the concerned students recommend the great work our government is doing in preventing further spread of the virus by among other measures making the wearing of face masks mandatory in all public places including schools While appreciating all the efforts, as students, we are much concerned on how the government has made the decision of further closing up schools,” said Kasanga.
He said government did not consider that educated people are the future of the nation hence the need to lightly cover the right to education that largely complements right to life.
” As students, we strongly believe that Covid-19 preventive measures could be well observed at schools rather than at bars, markets that are not even on lockdown as schools are eyed to be. These are places where a huge number of people converge for shopping on daily basis, as such, threatening further spread of the virus, “he said.
The students further said the government overlooked the vivid fact that the findings from last year’ closure of schools due to the same pandemic indicated that more girls were at risk of early marriages, early pregnancies, contacting sexually transmitted infections, increased cases of domestic rape and abuse by some relatives and guardians as they will spend most of their time at home.
Kasanga further said: “We, therefore, expect that the government will come out clear after 48 hours effective 1Oth February, 2021 and tell the general public that It will use the stipulated time frame of 2 weeks to do all possible means for schools to reopen by 22nd February.”
The also said they expect government to announce that all students must be in their respective schools by Monday.
Learners had anticipated a resumption of schooling on February 8 after an eight-week closure of schools at the start of the first term of 2021 as President Lazarus Chakwera had declared a state of national disaster.
The state of national disaster followed a spike in new coronavirus infections and deaths as the second wave of the pandemic swept across the African continent.