NKURENKURU - Education minister Anna Nghipondoka said schools that do not meet the necessary health hygiene protocols would not be allowed to reopen for learning.
Nghipondoka visited four secondary schools in Kavango West last week to acquaint herself with measures put in place to keep schools safe from Covid-19 as well as to attend to challenges faced by educators. “If there is no water, if there is no ablution facility, that school should remain closed while we are still seeing how it can be helped. We cannot risk sending children to a school when World Health Organisation is saying wash your hands regularly but there is no water or they go to an ablution facility and come back without washing their hands, we cannot do that,” Nghipondoka said.
“The readiness survey says only reopen when you are sure that the school is safe, if it is not safe, through the general reports and weekly feedbacks we’ll find out.”
So far only grade 11 and 12 learners have returned to school for face-to-face learning. The pre-primary and lower primary pupils (grade 1-3) are expected to resume classes on 6 July, while grade 7 and 9 will resume on 20 July as announced by the ministry this week.
Phase four will be the return to school for pupils in grade 4, 5, 6, 8 and 10 on 3 August. Some schools have highlighted serious challenges, including overcrowding due to limited classrooms and hostel blocks and lack of enough ablution facilities or either not fit for use.
Many schools have also raised the lack of water issue. However, Nghipondoka promised that plans are underway to respond to all needs facing schools countrywide, with funds already allocated to the regional education directorates to improve infrastructure.
Nevertheless, the minister said she was happy with the Covid-19 safety measures put in place by various schools. “Our director, principals and teachers at schools went out of their way and did a lot themselves. Yes, we provided some funds, but it is up to the schools to be innovative to try and make sure that the adherence to the health protocols is taken care of. I am going back a happy minister because the schools are ready,” she said. The minister also used the visit to encourage learners to adhere to the safety measures and mentally prepare for lessons amidst the virulent pandemic.
2020-06-25 08:55:54 | 20 days ago