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Parents want schools opened

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Justin Saidi

Some parents are asking the government to consider partial re-opening of schools to allow students in their final years to complete their studies.

The Association of Parents for University of Malawi (Unima) made the request at a press conference in Lilongwe on Friday.

Chairperson of the association Paul Chikwekwe said the development will also help schools to decongest once the schools re-open for a normal calendar.

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Chikwekwe suggested that the government should also allow Standard Eight and Form Four learners to go back to school while observing Covid-19 precautionary measures.

“Fourth year Chancellor College students had two months to complete their studies. If these students are recalled it means there will be only few at the campus.

“As parents we are saying as it has been with other areas, where some workers are allowed to go to work let us also do the same with schools,” Chikwekwe said.

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He said universities have Covid-19 committees and urged the government to liaise with them on how best they can accommodate the students.

But Principal Secretary in the Ministry of Education, Science and Technology Justin Saidi said the government cannot rule out the possibility of reopening the schools but that such a decision can be made upon being guided by health experts.

“If we just open without following guidelines from our colleagues who are looking at the issues of Covid-19, we may even do injustice to the learners. We all know that the disease is spread by physical contact and therefore when we talk about the schools it’s very difficult to maintain social distance,” he said.

President Peter Mutharika ordered closure of all schools in March this year amid the outbreak of Covid-19.

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