Schools in Malawi will reopen on Monday with government injecting K5 billion from the K17 billion Covid-17 response funds to the ministry of education to ensure sustainable safe environment for both learners and teachers.
Schools were expected to reopen on February 8, after President Lazarus Chakwera ordered that all schools should be closed for three weeks on January 17, but his government’s Covid-19 taskforce extended the closure for another two weeks.
The opening of schools comes after Independent Schools Association of Malawi (Isama) wrote the Ministry of Health that the number of Covid-19 cases were on the decline.
“The more we keep learners at home, the more they are disadvantaged as some will end up going into early marriages and some getting unwanted pregnancies. We might end up building a cohort of people who would never love education,” said Isama president Joseph Patel.
Co-chairperson of the Presidential Task Force on Covid-19, Khumbize Kandodo Chiponda, who is also Minister of Health announced on Wednesday that all schools will reopen on Monday February 22 2021 with K5 billion provided to Ministry of Education to ensure safe environment for both learners and teachers.
Minister of Education Agness Nyalonje said her ministry has provided schools with face masks, soap and other items to prevent the spread of the virus.
On the K5 billion allocation, Nyalonje said the ministry plans to use some of the funds to drill boreholes in 650 primary and secondary schools to ensure the educational facilities have potable water for sanitation.
“Of the 650 boreholes, 400 will be drilled in primary schools while 240 will be in secondary schools,” said Nyalonje.
She also said Ministry of Education plans to “procure tens to decongest classes. About K384.6 million will go towards that.”
Nyalonje said to ease pressure on teachers, government has also recruited 2 275 auxiliary teachers.