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‘Schools must open on January 18’

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  • “The issue is that Covid-19 is with us and it will continue to be with us, we don’t know when it’s coming to an end. It’s now like malaria, we have lived with malaria for many years. The issue is we need to stick to the health guidelines.

By ANDREW MUKOMA

A Civil Society Organisation has objected to some sections of society that are proposing the postponement of the opening of schools in view of the escalating number of Covid-19 cases.

GEARS Executive Director, MacDonald Chipenzi, said schools should just reopen on January 18, as planned but cautioned that there must be strict adherence to Covid-19 regulations.

He observed that the pandemic would not “go away” anytime soon, hence rescheduling the opening date would be like closing indefinitely.

Mr Chipenzi noted that last year, the school calendar was disrupted and therefore, doing so again would only disadvantage the learners.

He was speaking in an with the Daily Nation in Livingstone.

“The issue is that Covid-19 is with us and it will continue to be with us, we don’t know when it’s coming to an end. It’s now like malaria, we have lived with malaria for many years. The issue is we need to stick to the health guidelines.

“The only thing that supposed to be done is to intensify the adherence of masking up, sanitizing, observing social distancing and washing hands regularly,” he noted.

Mr Chipenzi added that schools should be stocked with sanitisers, sufficient water, hand-washing liquid and basins we well as enough desks to facilitate physical distancing.

“The issue of suspending school may not be to the advantage of this nation because we will be creating curriculum gap in the school calendar and it will be difficult to fill up the gap,” he said.

The GEARS Executive Director observed that, already Zambia has a lot of children who were not going to school and postponing opening would just exert more pressure on the education system.

“Let us do what we need to do as citizens… politicians, those who move around make sure when you meet people, remember that you are going to meet your child who is going to school… be very cautious of who you meet, how you meet so please mask up to avoid spreading to the disease.

“We have no cure at the moment but we can avoid spreading it like a bush fire,” he said.

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