The government is making a concerted drive to make sure that schools reopen soon. Already those students who are writing June examinations this year are set to return and resume school this week. The government has also said that there will be a phased reopening of schools that will see those in completing classes and penultimate classes return to school as early as next month while those doing ECD might return in September. It’s a timetable that authorities denied calling fake news, but they have since confirmed almost everything contained in that same document.
Yesterday state media plubished a set of guidelines that schools have to follow. Our good friends at Pindula News have distilled that publication into digested easy to understand guidelines we are going to publish here.
- All sporting activities are prohibited, learners are not supposed to have physical contact in school playgrounds, or engage in choral practices and or any other activity that involves physical contact.
- Breaks will be staggered or held in class.
- Classrooms will accommodate not more than 35 learners seated one metre apart
- Learners are prohibited from sharing textbooks and other learning materials
- Schools encouraged to start hot sitting sessions to accommodate all students
- Schools to avoid mixing learners for lessons and after school activities.
- Learners in a class should stay in one classroom throughout the day while teachers move between classrooms in secondary schools
- Social and physical distancing should be practised in hostels, the use of bunk beds in hostels is prohibited.
- Each school is required to have sufficient Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) and a health co-ordinator trained by the Ministry of Health and Child Care before schools open.
- Each classroom should be equipped with a handwashing facility, running water and soaps
- Ablution facilities should be cleaned and disinfected thrice a day.
- Transport services will be required to carry one student per seat with a distance of one metre effected.
A tough ask?
Some of these rules are easily achievable but some are a tough ask. A lot of schools still have students sharing textbooks as well as other learning materials. Schools just like all institutions are hopelessly underfunded and the government will not permit nor can parents afford massive fee hikes to rectify the situation.
The document says any school head who fails to implement these measures will be punished under the law.