As schools are scheduled to reopen today, health and education officials in Blantyre have outlined measures to ensure safety of both learners and teachers amid the Covid-19 pandemic.
Briefing the media on Friday, Blantyre Urban district education manager (DEM) Anita Kaliu said numero u s activi t i e s including sensitisation of stakeholders, parents and communities took place in the week while disinfection of schools went on throughout the weekend.
She said: “Hand-washing facilities such as buckets and teachers’ face masks have also already been procured. For learners, we already gave them face masks when schools opened. However, if they come without face masks, we will give them some from donations.”
The DEM said with the teacher-pupil ratio at 1: 40, broken chalkboards are being repaired and new ones
have been bought to ensure the ratio is adhered to.
She said they are also waiting for tents to be made available to schools, adding that learners who test positive for Covid-19 in boarding schools will be put in isolation rooms while day scholars will have to go to health facilities.
In addition, she said the district has personal protective equipment (PPE) to last a month.
“After a month, we will need to replenish them. We will need support thereafter,” said Kaliu.
On his part, Blantyre District Health Office (DHO) director of health and social services Dr Gift Kawalazira said they are ready to support the education sector by, among other things, monitoring prevention measures, screening and testing.
“As of yesterday [Thursday] we had 7 500 rapid test kits which I think are enough for a start,” he said.
Kawalazira said the DHO will help in screening students, testing only those they deem need to be tested, adding that day scholars will be screened on a daily basis in their schools.
He said the DHO has been engaging education authorities and that they will engage communities