Namibia resumes school after COVID-19 shutdown
Namibia resumes face-to-face classes for senior secondary grades 11 and 12 this week after COVID-19 shut down. The schools are practicing safety hygiene measures to curb the spread of COVID-19.
The education ministry closed all schools in March this year after Namibian president declared a state of emergency and subsequent restrictions.
At Rocky Crest High School in Namibian capital Windhoek, teachers have set up a screening station. Each learner is screened and sanitized before entering the school premises.
Justine Klein, principal of Rocky Crest High School, said that this is done in compliance with the state health regulations.
"Details of the learners are recorded, including the overall wellbeing done based on a health questionnaire. We aim to ensure schools are a safe learning environment," said Klein Thursday.
Schools are also checking the temperature of each learner and observing other measures.
The school principal of Augustineum Secondary School in Windhoek, Rudolph Matengu, said that the school procured masks for all learners.
"All staff members at schools and learners wear masks to ensure compliance to health measures in place," he said.
To promote sanitation and handwashing, some schools have set up tippy-taps, made out of three supporting metallic poles on which a reusable plastic bottle with water and soap hangs. Also, a foot lever for releasing water.
The schools have also minimized contact, observing social distancing by dividing learners into smaller groups, with the number of learners in a class drastically reduced.
Schools also inducted learners on the expected conduct, raising awareness about COVID-19, and provided social workers as well as life skills teachers to provide psychosocial support.
Meanwhile, according to Matengu, learners are also happy to see each other after two months of school closure, although they cannot hug and be close to each other.
Absalom Absalom, spokesperson of the Ministry of Education, Arts and Culture, said Thursday that more than 49,000 learners in grade 11 and 12 returned to school on June 3.
In the meantime, according to Absalom, schools that have not yet met hygiene and safety measures such as water provision, sanitation, screening provision and disinfection remain closed.
Namibia has recorded 25 cases of COVID-19, of which 16 cases have recovered. (Xinhua)