Grade 11 and 12 learners in Zambezi region have returned to school after weeks of nationwide closure that shut public and private schools since March due to the enforcement of the state of emergency that was triggered by the Covid-19 global pandemic.
According to the director of education in the Zambezi region Joy Mamili, all secondary schools resumed face-to-face classes on Wednesday except for Mayuni Senior Secondary School that experienced a broken water pump that has malfunctioned since Monday.
The water pump has since been replaced with a new one and the flow of water restored.
However, she said, some schools cited problems of non-adherence to social distancing by learners at the entrance, but in the classrooms and the school yards, learners adhered to social distancing protocols and no complaints were received from parents regarding the reopening of schools except for general complaints on social media and local radio.
Mamili said learners were well informed on the precautionary measures as the education ministry has provided strict guidelines on Covid-19 safety measures to be implemented by all schools and it is mandatory for each and every school to display Covid-19 rules at the school entrance and at all other strategic points. In addition to that, a team of principals went on local radio to talk about their preparedness and emphasise safety measures.
Mamili said that the head office transferred N$3.1 million specifically for the procurement of cleaning materials for the regional office, circuit offices and schools while part of the money would be used for the procurement of face masks and cleaning materials.
The purchase of disinfectants and face masks was done at school level whilst the education directorate bought thermo-guns for all schools in the region. In addition, the head office of education supported the region with 80 extra thermo-guns and 3 520 face masks to be distributed for free at different schools across the region, said the education director.
According to the director, some of the accomplishments achieved within the region during the state of emergency were the development and distribution of teaching and learning materials and booklets and handouts to learners, the motivation of learners and parents on local media, engaging the community on local radio as well as the identification of resource teachers per subject per grade, she stated.
Richard Musilizo, the principal of Caprivi Senior Secondary School said there should be no reason for any learner not to have a face mask on, but he had noted with concern that some learners have their masks hanging below their chins and this is perhaps caused by the relaxation by some as there is no case within the region, but which they should not be doing. There school has 671 Grade 11 and 12 learners and has received 900 face masks and therefore all learners should have their face masks on at all times, counselled the principal.