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Survey shows 75 pct of schools in rural Zambia not ready to reopen

Tuesday, June 2nd, 2020 13:16 |
Students study while observing social distancing guidelines in a classroom at Ng'ombe Parent-Teacher Association (PTA) School in Lusaka, capital of Zambia. (Xinhua/Martin Mbangweta)

LUSAKA,

About three-quarters of primary schools in rural areas of Zambia are not ready to reopen because they lack COVID-19 protective materials, a survey conducted by two local organizations and released on Saturday has revealed.

Pupils in examination classes are expected to return to school next Monday after they were closed in March due to the outbreak of the pandemic.

A survey conducted by the National Action for Quality Education in Zambia and the Medical for Quality Healthcare in Zambia has revealed that primary schools in rural areas were not ready to reopen.

In a statement, the two organizations said the schools will need one or two weeks more before they reopen.

The survey monitored 631 rural schools between May 22 and 28.

The survey found out that 90 percent of schools in rural areas lacked sanitizers, had no masks, temperature recorders, were not disinfected and had poor sources of water.

"We are of the considered position that allowing rural primary schools to reopen when they are clearly not ready would be going against the very good and plain guidelines put in place by the government to fight COVID-19," the release said.

But Jobbics Kalumba, Ministry of General Education Permanent Secretary said the ministry has put everything in place to ensure that schools reopen.

He said schools were ready to observe the guidelines put in place by health officials.

"We cannot fail to open schools just because one of two schools have not met the criteria. The schools are ready. We have been on the ground," he said.

The schools are expected to provide free masks to all the pupils. (Xinhua)

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