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Rural schools not ready for re-opening, lack necessary resources

Filed under: Education,Health & Nutrition,Latest News |
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The Medical for Quality Healthcare in Zambia ( MQHZ) and National Action for Quality Education in Zambia ( NAQEZ) have declare that three quarters of rural Primary schools are not ready for reopening next week.

In a joint statement, the two bodies said after monitoring a total of 631 schools across the country, between 22nd and 28th May, it has come to the conclusion that the schools will need one or two weeks more before they re-open.

The statement was signed by MQHZ Director General, Dr Quince Mwabu and NAQEZ Executive Director, Aaron Chansa.

“We advise 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.

MQHZ and NAQEZ said out of the 631 schools monitored, 413 were Primary schools while 218 were Secondary schools. Among them, 308 were rural Schools while 323 were Urban Schools.

The two bodies further revealed 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 pointed out that 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 said.

Meanwhile, it was also noted 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.

However, because of the advantaging locations and economic standing of most Urban Schools, the two institutions recommended that they go ahead and reopen next week on 1st June,2020.

“As MQHZ and NAQEZ, we warmly take note of the many efforts government has exerted into rejuvenating the educating system in Zambia during the Corona virus crisis.

“These great efforts must be commended and supported by all Zambians, educational stakeholders ,the Corporate fraternity as well as the international community,” they said.

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