Government has come under fire after advising headteachers to release all Form Four candidates in boarding schools without the students being tested for Coronavirus.
The Form Four candidates are finalizing MSCE exams today and government on Thursday said those in boarding schools should be allowed to go home.
According to a statement by Secretary for Health Charles Mwansambo and Secretary for Education, Chikondano C. Mussa, when the students get home parents and guardians should ensure that the students get tested for COVID-19 at a nearest government health facility.
“In some schools where the health personnel have already screened and tested the MSCE candidates should proceed home but should strictly be on quarantine for 14 days. If they observe any COVID-19 symptoms, they should immediately inform the local health authorities,” reads part of the statement.
The advice from government has angered Malawians who have argued that the two ministries should have made sure the students get tested before leaving their school.
There are also concerns that many parents will not voluntarily take their children to hospital to get tested hence there was need for mandatory testing.
“The best and not so complex is test them whilst in their various schools. Mmakomo anthu akuopako ku chipatala and for your information ena akuzithandiza okha privately,” said Kenny Trevon Burton Jr II
Tapiwa Tanazio said: “This is not practically possible, you failed to test them in schools how do u direct them to do tests in nearest health centers where there are no testing kits?”
While Zak Dw said: “Is this the best solution top thinkers in the ministry of health as well as Ministry of education came up with? Why didn’t government utilise the COVID fund and test those students 3 days before the final date of exams? It’s doubtful that parents, guardians or students themselves will go for voluntary testing as requested here. This is one of the obvious super spreaders. Think better.”
Health rights activist Maziko Matemba has also expressed concern over the guideline saying infected students may spread the virus to their parents.