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Task force wants schools reopened

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By Wezzie Gausi

The National Planning Taskforce on the Possible Re-opening of Schools, Colleges and Universities has written the Presidential Task Force on Covid-19 to consider reopening the schools for learners to resume classes.

Chairperson of the National Planning Task Force, Professor Lewis Dzimbiri, said it is worth pointing out that reopening schools, colleges and universities amidst the Covid-19 pandemic that has led to loss of lives globally including four in Malawi, is an attempt to ensure a proper balance between the right to education and the right to life.

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Dzimbiri, in a statement released Tuesday, said the taskforce has come up with the decision after thorough consultations with all stakeholders involved.

“In order to achieve its mandate effectively, the task force set up teams composed of representatives of private and public universities and colleges, primary and secondary schools, civil society organisations and development and cooperating partners with interest in education into three sub-committees.

“The task force has recommended to the Presidential Task Force on Coronavirus that all schools, colleges and universities be re-opened on 13th July, 2020 with specific details and conditions for the reopening to be announced later after the task force has finalised the consultations,” Dzimbiri said.

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Spokesperson for the Ministry of Education, Science and Technology, Chikondi Chimala, said consultations to various stakeholders have already started and a memorandum has been dispatched to various learning institutions and other sectors for their views on safe opening in their various contexts.

Chimala said the whole process is being done in a systematic and fact-based way to ensure its decision making is informed by the best of public health data and global best practices that ensure safe reopening.

“We are calling for the general public and all stakeholders to provide their input for the safe return to school as that is the only way we can have a consensus decision on the reopening,” Chimala said.

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