Education Taskforce Proposes July 13 for School Re-Opening

Dzimbiri: Following best practices too Dzimbiri: Following best practices too File Photo

The National Planning Taskforce on the Possible Re-opening of Schools, Colleges and Universities has recommended to the Presidential Taskforce on Coronavirus that schools, colleges and universities be re-opened on 13th July.

However, the taskforce is withholding specific details and conditions for the re-opening for until after all consultations on the matter have been finalized.

The National Planning Taskforce was appointment by the Ministry of Education, Science and Technology on 13th May, to come up with strategies and conditions for the safe re-opening following closure in the wake of the global corona virus pandemic.

“It is worth pointing out the re-opening of schools, colleges and universities amidst the COVID-19 pandemic that has led to loss of lives globally including four in Malawi, is an attempt to ensure a proper balance between the right to education and the right to life.

“Recognizing that Malawi is not an island, the Taskforce has also been looking at regional and global trends to draw lessons on how safe re-opening is being managed in other countries,” reads a statement issued by the planning taskforce June 2.

In the statement, the taskforce says since its inception meeting 22nd May 2020, it has been consulting such stakeholders as teachers, parents, lecturers, students, policy makers, community leaders, health experts, non-state actors and the media to come up with a common position that ensures safe return to learning in Malawi.

Chairperson of the national planning taskforce, Professor Lewis Dzimbiri, says in order to effectively achieve its mandate, the taskforce set up three sub-committees composed of private and public universities and colleges players, primary and secondary schools, civil society and development and cooperating partners.

The committees included one looking into operationalizing the tools and services to achieve safe return to schools, another on come up with comprehensive recommendations based on facts on how to achieve safe return to school for primary and secondary schools and the third on coming up with recommendations on safe return to learning for public and private institutions of higher learning.

“The taskforce …is working in a systematic and fact based way to ensure all its decision making is informed by the best of public health data and global best practices that ensure safe re-opening,” says Professor 

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