By Joseph Mbughi
Deputy Minister of Education, Science and Technology Madalitso Kambauwa Wirima has said the ministry is well prepared to protect learners and teachers from Covid-19 as the schools reopen on 7th September, 2020.
The deputy minister was speaking when she visited Lufita primary school and Namuchese primary school during assessment for the preparation for the reopening of schools in Chitipa district.
Speaking in an interview, Wirima said as of now trainings are in progress in most of the schools across the country.
The trainings involve mother groups, school committees and teachers to ensure that they are in line with Covid-19 guidelines.
“Most of schools don’t have enough space capacity to take in all the learners as such we are going to start with exams classes, standard eight and form four students, if we find that it is not working out we can do alternative plans from there,” she said.
She added that the learners who are able to go back to school immediately should do so.
For learners who are pregnant, Wirima encouraged them to go back to school after delivery. She asked chiefs and parents to help the children back to school.
Chitipa District Education Manager Votie Mboweni said when schools reopen, there will be challenges such as shortage of classrooms due to Covid-19 as people are encouraged to be one meter apart.
She also mentioned the school dropout rate since 269 learners have got pregnant or married in the district.
In their remarks Headteachers from the two primary school complained about the shortage of teachers in their school which makes the ratio to be high where one teacher handles a class of 72 learners. The teachers also mentioned lack of teachers’ house.
They further asked for promotion saying some teachers have been at the same grade for more than 14 years.
Meanwhile, all schools have received washing buckets, dishes and soap for hand washing to prevent the spread of Covid-19.
Learners will also be required to wear face masks when the school reopen.