Face to Face resumption of school

Rudi Bowe

The Ministry of Education, Arts and Culture is cognizant of the current situation in the country with the increase of Covid-19 infections and the impact it has nationally.

The Minister of Education, Ester Nghipondoka announced on Monday, 4 January 2021, new proposed dates for the resumption of all schools in the country. The new dates are 14 January 2021 for teachers and 26 January 2021 for pre-primary to grade 11 learners with the re-opening date for advanced subsidiary (AS) learners set for 16 February 2021.
The initial reopening of schools for teachers was 6 January and 11 January for learners with the original re-opening date for AS learners was pending due to results.
Nghipondoka said, “The ministry revised the dates for face-to-face reopening of all schools, both state and private after consultations with the office of the president, office of the prime minister, ministry of health, NANTU, National Advisory Committee on Education and other key stakeholders and role players.”
Nghipondoka said that 2020 was a difficult year for all in the education fraternity and thanked all the stake-holders for their sup-port in the successful completion of the 2020 school year and we have seen great resilience from our regional offices, teachers, learners and parents in dealing with the challenges that they were faced with.
According to Nghipondoka, the education sector has gained valuable experience and a better under-standing in dealing with the Covid-19 pandemic.
“We enter 2021 with the requisite skills and knowledge to cope with the new complexities. Considering the various regulations on Covid-19 issued by the ministry of health regarding physical distancing, wearing of masks and sanitizing, the ministry of education has put mechanisms in place to ensure implementation in schools and school preparedness as per Formal Education Circulars that were issued to schools in 2020”, Nghipondoka said.
Nghipondoka also remind the parents that they are responsible for ensuring that each learner is provided with a face mask and the correct information on wearing it.
“School managements are expected to communicate to the parents as to what teaching and learning mode they will make use of, either platooning (different groups of learners and teachers attending morning and afternoon classes), time-based cohorts (accommodation of various learners in various grades on various days), distributed groups (all learners return but classes broken into smaller groups that learn in different locations at different times) or a combination of these, in the implementation of the curriculum” Nghipondoka said.
Regional directors have also been requested to ensure that schools are supported in the process of resumption of face to face learning.

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