Students threaten protests if Malawi govt does not adopt July 13 schools’ reopening date

Concerned Students from public universities and higher learning in Malawi have threatened that they will call for nationwide demonstrations on Friday if government does not adopt July 13, 2020, as the date for reopening of schools.

The concerned students addressing journalists in Lilongwe on Wednesday–Photo by Watipaso Mzungu, Nyasa Times
A cross-section of journalists that attended a presser by the Concerned Students–Photo by Watipaso Mzungu, Nyasa Times

The National Planning Taskforce on the Possible Re-opening of Schools, Colleges and Universities recommended that schools should be reopened on July 13, 2020.

The students, led by a law student from Chancellor College, Precous Paul Kalulu, addressed the media in Lilongwe on Wednesday afternoon where they warned government against not adopting the date.

They expressed discontent with the way government is handling coronavirus disease (Covid-19) pandemic fight, arguing government is playing double standards on measures put in place to combat the disease.

“What we are asking from the government is to adopt that date within 48 hours. If that does not happen, then we are taking to the streets,” he said.

In a statement released on Tuesday, the Taskforce says the decision has been after thorough consultation with different stakeholders including teachers, health experts and the media.

“It is worth pointing out the re-opening of schools, colleges and universities amidst the COVID-19 pandemic that has led to loss of lives globally including four in Malawi, is an attempt to ensure a proper balance between the right to education and the right to life. It is for this reason that the Taskforce, at its inception meeting on 22nd May 2020, resolved to consult various stakeholders including teachers, parents, lecturers, students, policy makers, community leaders, health experts, non-state actors and the media among others, to come up with a common position that ensures safe return to learning.

“Recognizing that Malawi is not an island, the Taskforce has also been looking at regional and global trends to draw lessons on how safe re-opening is being managed in other countries. In this regard, the Taskforce has recommended to the Presidential Taskforce on Coronavirus, that all schools, Colleges and Universities be re-opened on 13th July, 2020 with specific details and conditions for the re-opening to be announced later after the Taskforce has finalized the consultations,” reads the statement signed by Professor Lewis Dzimbiri, Chairperson of the Taskforce.

The Taskforce further informs the general public and all stakeholders that it is working in a systematic and fact based way to ensure all its decision making is informed by the best of public health data and global best practices that ensure safe re-opening.

The decision of the Taskforce comes amid a sharp increase of covid-19 cases in the country, which has seen the number of confirmed cases rising to 336 with over 200 cases recorded within the past few days.

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Mulopwana
Guest

Atsegulireni xool yo akafere komweko.

Yusuf
Guest
Yusuf

Just give them the death warrant because they think they’re clever… Corona will finish them at their campas

Charles Dokera
Guest
Charles Dokera

The lack of seriousness that is being seen from the government is worrisome. We understand that the closure of schools is worldwide but I think it is just unreasonable to rely on this fact as a justification to keep our schools closed. If I may just quote what the president said, “this disease is unprecedented, we have no role models and we are our own model.” These remarks negate the reasoning of doing things just because others are doing. Recently, we have heard that our neighboring countries like Zambia, Tanzania and South Africa are opening despite the fact that their… Read more »

CADET NO. 1
Guest

Much as we acknowledge the existence of Covid 19 globally, the real issue is that in Malawi we do not have worrisome cases of Covid 19 that could to closure of schools and later on issue a directive to go into lockdown that was blocked by the HRDC. What is publicised by the C19 Commision in our country Malawi is questionable and has a hidden agenda in it. The TRUTH of C19 will prevail once the opposition takes over the reign of power. This time around Covid 19 will remain a Conspiracy plan by this DPP regime. Mark my words… Read more »

Mangochi Kabwafu
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Mangochi Kabwafu

Angokusokonezani masukulu agalu amenewa. The decision to close was political (kuthawa zisankho) and not scientific. They did close schools with NO single covid-19 case while at the time, and kept the boarders wide open. And in the end, it’s turned out to be weakest the infection in Malawi at least, with only 4 deaths (ena okokera)

Just
Guest
Just

Let Mr Kalulu take an undertaking that he will be held responsible should the virus spread in the University.

kavibangwa
Guest
kavibangwa

Spray them with bullets when they go to the streets! this country is already saturated with graduates.

Bakali
Guest
Bakali

Zina mukawona, kumvetsa chisoni. Who said the lockdown is forever? Why not wait? The whole world is waiting,this pandemic will be brought under control and life will go on. Phuma limeneli will be very costly. Mufwenge

Nyaude
Guest
Nyaude

What will happen if you go to the streets?

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