A cautious Zambian President Edgar Lungu has announced that the reopening of schools, slated for Monday, 18th January 2021, will
be delayed for two weeks to allow all education institutions to put in place covid-19 health guidelines aimed at protecting learners and teachers.
Lungu directed the Minister of Education and the Minister of Higher Education, in conjunction with other sectors, such as the Ministry of Health and the Ministry of Local Government, to be “on top of things” and ensure all schools are ready for re-opening on Monday, 13″ February 2021, as the resumption of learning will depend on how ready each learning institution is.
The two-week delay, according to the President, will also allow parents to adequately prepare for the reopening of schools.
Lungu also expressed concern that there is a surge in covid-19 cases at the time the schools were to reopen and has heard the submissions of various stakeholders, including parents, guardians, and political leaders, hence the decision to delay the reopening.
“1 have heard the concerns of parents, guardians and other stakeholders, therefore, this decision is aimed at ensuring institutions of learning prepare adequately, and strictly adhere to public health regulations, guidelines, and certification, and also to allow for satisfactory, and adequate preparedness by ll relevant authorities, including parents and guardians,” the President has said.
The President also added that closing schools indefinitely because of covid-19, as well, is not the answer because “we do not know when this disease will go away or whether it will go at all,” as espoused by the World Health Organisation.