• September 21st, 2020
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AR warns against early reopening of schools



The Affirmative Repositioning (AR) movement says it does not support the reopening of face-to-face learning for critical grades this Wednesday. The country will move to stage 3 on 2 June until 29 June as part of the four-stage response plan aimed at easing Covid-19 restrictions. Cabinet has endorsed the plan to reopen schools on 3 June for critical grades such as 11 and 12 to resume face-to-face classes. Phase 2 will see the resumption of pre-primary to grade 3 on 22 June until 18 December 2020. 

This will be followed by the resumption of face-to-face teaching for grades 7 and 9 in phase 3, starting 6 July until 18 December. Grades 4, 5, 6, 8 and 10 are expected to return to the classroom on 20 July as part of phase 4. The AR activists feel government does not have a well-coordinated system on sanitation and key hygiene essentials that create a healthy and conducive learning environment. 

“The AR movement seriously warns the government on the premature opening of schools because they have not demonstrated formidable scientific information in place to curb the spread of the virus. We, therefore, reject this idea to subject our children to this ill-conceived measure until we comply with the necessary principles,” activist Dimbulukeni Nauyoma said in a statement yesterday. 

AR feels there are no facilities and systems that relate to the preventative and sanitation in schools, and there are no guaranteed measures to ensure social distancing. Hence, AR demands a well-coordinated system on sanitation and key hygiene essentials that create a healthy and conducive learning environment. In the absence of such mechanisms, AR finds that there is a lack of proper hygiene as it relates to sanitation. 
“It is imperative that government ensures a clean water supply to schools, particularly rural schools and those in the informal settlements,” Nauyoma noted.   On the Walvis Bay total lockdown, which has since Thursday moved back to stage one, AR welcomed such a move, given the developments of the rise in Covid-19 cases. 

“However, it would have been commendable for government to have included Windhoek municipality area or Khomas region at large, given the number of residents that have been at the coastal town since the lifting of stage one lockdown under the circumstances,” Nauyoma suggested. 

‘Ready’
Meanwhile, health deputy minister Esther Muinjangue yesterday assured the nation that government was ready to deal with any local transmission of Covid-19. At the moment, Namibia does not have any Covid-19 local transmission, as all 24 confirmed cases are travel-related. “As the ministry, we are prepared. You cannot have a fire extinguish approach here. You need to be pro-active. As a ministry, we are ready for that. We are thankful that for now, we don’t have local transmission. It is not something we can rule out; it can come – it can happen,” she reacted.

 According to her, in all the 14 regions, they have been working around the clock to ensure there are isolation centres for any possible Covid-19 cases. Equally, deputy education minister Faustina Caley assured parents that pupils will be provided with masks at schools, hand sanitisers and their temperature will also be checked on a daily basis as they enter the school premises. In terms of schools without water, she reported the directorate of rural water supply has been distributing water tanks to those needy schools.
– anakale@nepc.com.na


Albertina Nakale
2020-06-01 09:53:44 3 months ago

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