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Schools to reopen on 29 January 2024 due to Cholera outbreak – Syakalima

Filed under: Breaking News |

Following the Cholera outbreak in Zambia, government has announced that all public, private, aided and community learning institutions (early childhood education (ECE) centres, primary and secondary schools remain closed for a further three weeks.

This means that schools will only open on Monday, 29th January, 2024.

Education Minister Douglas Syakalima says the grace period which was earlier given to grades eight and ten learners has now been overtaken and all learners are expected to open on 29th January, 2024.

Syakalima says in order to catch up on the time lost, the first term holidays will only run for one week instead of four weeks; implying that schools will close for term one on 26th April instead of 5th April, 2024, and open for term two as scheduled on 6th may, 2024.

“As announced by the Honorable Minister of Health, through a press statement dated 14th December, 2023, the country has in the recent past seen an increase in the cholera cases and subsequent deaths due to the disease. From the time the first case was reported in Eastern Province, the cholera cases have increased and spread to most parts of the country. In order to prevent and mitigate the spread of the disease, the government has put in place measures affecting different wings of society including the ministry of education,” he said.

“While the government is concerned about the negative impact pandemics have had on the education sector in the past, safeguarding the lives of school communities remains a priority. I take this opportunity to advise parents and guardians to ensure that they prepare their children for term two even before term one closes, in view of the short holiday time.”

He said during the prolonged closure, all learning institutions should be thoroughly cleaned up, have clean water and sanitation facilities, adequate hand washing points, detergents and disinfectants in addition to the provisions of the preventive guidelines already in schools.

“Learning institutions should maintain a high level of hygiene at both personal and institutional levels as guided by the ministry of health. In addition to the above, school inspections and sensitizations will be intensified at all levels in order to ensure compliance to the above guidelines,” he added.

“In the meantime, in order to keep the learners busy during this extended closure, the ministry wishes to encourage parents and guardians to allow their children to make use of the available alternative modes of learning provided by the ministry, which include: Zambia National Broadcasting Cooperation (ZNBC) Television on EDU TV channel Internet based platform on learning passport and Notes master.

“Please note that my ministry has taken a cautious approach to reopening our schools and for this reason, I am calling for conserted effort from all stakeholders in ensuring that our schools are safe and ready to reopen.”

Schools were scheduled to open on 8th January, 2024.


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