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Health protocols in place for re-opening of schools

Health protocols in place for re-opening of schools

Marthina Mutanga

SCHOOLS in Namibia are set to re-open in stages as the country, with the exception of Walvis Bay residents, prepare to progress to Stage 3 later this week.


Faustina Caley, the Deputy Minister of Education, Arts and Culture said during Sunday’s information session at the National COVID-19 Communication Centre that the ministry is constantly engaging with the regional management structures to monitor their progress to ensure the safety of the learner’s when do returns to school.


Caley said she is full of confidence that 100% of schools and hostels will be able to implement social distancing with Grade 11 and 12 learners returning to school later this week.


The rest of the grades will follow in phases throughout June and July which means that the low number initially will be able to maintain health regulations.


The deputy minister also pointed out that the majority of the hostels were overcrowded before the closure of schools and will not be able to execute Covid-19 protocols once all the residents have returned.


schools Namibia re-open exception Walvis Bay residents Stage 3
Pictured: Deputy Minister of Education, Arts and Culture, Faustina Caley. Photo: Marthina Mutanga


It is the hoped that as time progresses that less stringent measures will be introduced which would allow for a larger numbers of learners to gather at schools


According to Caley, hostel capacity stands at 55 937 boarders, however a total of 69 516 boarders were accommodated in hostels prior to school closure in March.


“Most hostels will be able to accommodate the Grade 11 and 12 but problems will be encountered with return of more other learners,” she said.


Caley noted that funds have been dispersed to all regions for the acquisition of hygiene materials and hostel fumigation.


“According to the regional reports the availability of clean running water stands at 94% nationally. Additionally 54% of schools have erected tippy taps,” to ensure that personal hygiene protocols are followed.


The deputy minister also pointed out that only 27% of schools and 16% of hostels have access to disposable paper towels for drying of hands while 63% schools are prepared to distribute face masks to the learners and teachers when face to face schooling resumes.


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