Minister Upbeat to Fully Reopen Schools in October
The first days of schools reopening have been faced with myriad challenges such as insufficient hand washing facilities and some learners failing to follow coronavirus preventive measures, Minister of Education Agnes Nyalonje has conceded.
She however said that they have put in place a system that allows them to monitor all schools and swiftly rectify challenges encountered.
The minister who was speaking in Lilongwe on Wednesday when she received a donation of handwashing facilities from the US government worth 40 million kwacha, expressed optimism that all the challenges registered this far will be addressed before October to ensure the safe reopening of all learning institutions.
Said Nyalonje, “we recognize the size of the challenge, we are confident that the system we have put in place will allow us continuously mobilize resources towards the schools as they open more fully.
The task is massive but we also know that the goodwill from Malawians is massive.”
Minister Nyalonje added its time to resume classes saying halting education for a long time will have serious effects on many things including the security and economy of the country.
"We must prioritize education, we cannot continue to keep schools closed because of COVID 19. We need to learn to live with this pandemic because we don't know when it will leave us, without education we will suffer so much injury."
Classes were halted when learning institutions were closed indefinitely in March as a measure to stem further spread of coronavirus.
They only resumed this week but in selected classes including those anticipating to sit for examinations and nursery schools, with plans to fully reopen all classes next month.
Meanwhile, US Ambassador to Malawi Robert Scott who officially handed over the donated materials to minister Nyalonje said his government remains committed to helping Malawi fight the COVID 19 pandemic.
He tipped government to pay attention to experts’ advice as it plans to fully reopen schools.
“They are doing the right thing. They are taking advice from medical professionals.
Every country is going through this, we have the interest of students at heart, the interest of staff within the schools, and at the same time finding a way in which we can be as close to normal as possible within the pandemic and that is the goal that everyone has.”
The donation from the US government includes 4,440 hand wash stations with water dispersers, basins, and a one month supply of granulated chlorine disinfectants to cater for 550 schools in 22 districts in the country.
Since the first coronavirus case was recorded in Malawi, the US government according to Ambassador Scott has provided 10 million dollars, about 7.4 billion kwacha in the fight against COVID 19 in Malawi.