The education ministry through its regional directorates has supported schools with the procurement of appropriate health and safety equipment.
It has thus far spent over N$29.8 million on the procurement of personal protective equipment (PPE). The ministry also supported schools with thermo-guns for temperature screening and face masks for learners. However, the sustainability of the provision of cleaning materials and PPE to schools remains a challenge, according to education minister Anna Nghipondoka.
In a ministerial statement last week in the National Assembly, Nghipondoka gave an update on the resumption of face-to-face teaching and learning for grade 11 and 12 and schools’ readiness for phase 2. She said the ministry has availed an amount of N$600 million for the renovation and expansion of schools and hostels’ infrastructure, but the implementation within the given period proves to be a challenge. She, however, could not mention the timeline given. Director General of the National Planning Commission, Obeth Kandjoze and Nghipondoka recently undertook regional visits to assess the state of the implementation of these projects. She explained that such an undertaking revealed that there are different levels of effectiveness among regions in terms of implementation. “These points to the fact that not all schools will be at the same level of readiness for reopening and thus alternative learning methods will continue to be implemented,” the minister noted. She assured learners, parents, and communities at large that all precautionary measures were taken to ensure that these situations were handled in accordance with the set protocols with the assistance from the ministry of health. “Therefore, once a school records an infection of a learner or staff member, the school will be closed immediately and the Ministry of Health and Social Services surveillance team will take over to disinfect the school premises and observe the situation for 14 days. All schools have identified a room or corner to be used as sick bays in case a need arises,” Nghipondoka explained. Pre-primary learners, as well as pupils in grade 1 to 3, are expected to resume contact classes for the first time since the school calendar was disrupted by the Covid-19 pandemic in March this
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