Ministry of Health says schools should continue to prepare for the reopening by establishing Covid-19 preventive measures while also adjusting to online learning systems to reduce the number of students for the next academic year.
The ministry of health suggested schools to build new classrooms, to decongest classrooms and to establish handwashing stations.
On August 14, the cabinet meeting chaired by President Paul Kagame decided that schools should remain closed to allow sufficient time for further health assessment and thorough preparedness for the safety of children when they resume face to face learning.
“The reason why there are less Covid-19 infections to children is that they are protected in their homes. Few reported children infections were caused by parents who transmitted the virus from work to their homes,” Tharcisse Mpunga, Minister of State for Health in charge of Public Health and Primary Healthcare told media on August 15, 2020.
“As we did in the case of churches, all of them did not reopen at once. Those that did not reopen are being given a chance to comply with the Covid-19 preventive measures. A similar assessment will be done to decide whether schools should or should not reopen depending on the compliance on preventive measures, but also putting much effort on strengthening online learning,” Mpunga said.
“There is no certain date for the reopening of schools and this is empirical. Since the first Covid-19 case on 14th March this year, we thought schools would reopen in September, but cases have kept increasing because people have relaxed on observing preventive measures,”
Since the official closure of schools on 16 March this year, the governments started using various strategies for the reopening of schools, but also to protect children from Covid-19 that has so far claimed eight lives.
Among the preparations to safely reopen schools is the construction of an estimated 22,000 NEW classrooms across the country and recruitment of new 29000 teachers to improve student to teacher ratio.
The recruitment intends to bridge the student-teacher ratio which stands at 59:1 in Primary and 29:1 in Secondary to an average of 46:1 in both levels.
Other preparations include the establishment of hand washing stations in schools to improve hygine and sanitation.
“These preparations to protect children from Covid-19 are not sufficient yet, we are still working on them. But also the system of online learning should be strengthened in both private and public schools,” Dr. Valentine Uwamariya, minister of education said.
Yesterday, 93 new Covid-19 cases were confirmed, with the capital Kigali being the most affected.
“Kigali: 80 and Rusizi:13 testing in high-risk groups and villages under lockdown,” the Ministry of Health explained in the daily update on August 14.
Yesterday’s big number brought the total confirmed Covid-19 cases to 2293 and the active cases to 681, total recoveries to 1604, and 8 deaths.