Schools in Zambia have reopened for examination classes today after over a month of closure caused by the Coronavirus pandemic.
Some pupils in grades 7,9 and 12 have reported for class today with measures in some schools checked in Lusaka seemingly in place to prevent the spread of COVID-19.
Pupils entering school premises are all seen wearing face masks while hand washing basins have been placed at school entrances to ensure that pupils wash their hands and sanitize as their temperatures are being checked.
However, some parents especially for grade 7 pupils are reluctant to allow their children back into schools saying current disinfection efforts are not enough to convince them it’s safe.
Those talked to have said that nothing was done in some schools before now to prepare for the reopening of the schools and wondered how the disinfection will now be done with pupils in class.
Others have said that the reopening of schools was I’ll timed as Zambian leaders are struggling to contain the virus, which has infected over 1000 people.
They have expressed fear that schools risk becoming the epicenter of the pandemic.
And the National Action for Quality Education in Zambia says fter monitoring a total of 631 schools across the country, between 22nd and 28th May with their counterparts Medical for Quality Healthcare in Zambia it has been revealed that three quarters of rural Primary schools are not ready for reopening today.
The two organisations have advised government to give rural primary schools one or two weeks in order for these institutions to receive all protective equipment, be safe and ready for both Teachers and Learners during this devastating period of Covid 19.
They said out of the 631 schools monitored,413 were Primary schools while 218 were Secondary schools.
“308 were rural Schools while 323 were Urban Schools”, they said in a joint statement adding that out of 308 rural Schools visited,290 of them ( 94.2% ) did not have sanitizers,no masks,no temperature recorders, fewer desks ,were not disinfected and had poor sources of water.
They said this makes them fertile environments for spreading and contraction of the Covid 19.
“We are of a considered position that allowing rural primary schools to reopen when they are clearly not ready would be going against the very good and plain guidelines put in place by Ministries of General Education and Health, aimed at fighting the Corona virus”, they added.
They explained that out of 323 Urban Schools visited,298( 92.3%) had put in place measures necessary for reopening except that they all lacked masks and thermometers but because of the advantaging locations and economic standing of most Urban Schools they should go ahead and reopen.