The Presidential Taskforce on Coronavirus has given a cautious and conditional nod to the re-opening of schools, Colleges and Universities on 13th July, 2020.
Chairperson for the Taskforce, Dr. John Phuka made the disclosure during a media briefing on Wednesday in Lilongwe.
Dr. Phuka said that the date is acceptable but a review shall be made in two weeks time before the actual opening in view of the increasing number of cases being experienced in the country.
He stressed that there was need to balance the right to life and right to education revealing that while the country cannot wait for zero cases in order to reopen school, there was need to attain a manageable level of cases that can be supported by the health sector.
He was optimistic that with strict adherence of guidelines and enforcement of measures that the have been developed to support the safe return to school, it was possible to achieve a safe return to school.
The following are some of the Guiding Principles for re-opening of schools, colleges and universities.
- Re-opening of various sectors including the education sector shall be implemented in a phased manner and guided by the Ministry of Health
- There will be a balance between the right to life and the right to education
- Preventive measures for COVID-19 shall be enforced
- Major stakeholders such as Parents, Teachers and Students will be engaged at different levels for them to appreciate and contribute to the implementation of the COVID-19 prevention guidelines
- Regular hand washing with soap or sanitizer should be encouraged
- All learners and staff suspected to be sick will be required to ‘Stay Home.’
- Levels of absenteeism and drop-out will be monitored
Comprehensive and detailed guidelines for all education sector levels will communicated by the Ministry of Education, Science and Technology (MoEST) to all stakeholders.