Mbabane: Prime Minister Ambrose Mandvulo Dlamini has reaffirmed the nation on phased approach of reopening of schools and tertiary institutions as of Monday July 6.
Dlamini revealed this during a press briefing held at the cabinet office this afternoon when giving COVID-19 partial lockdown update. Dlamini said this first phase involves the reopening of Form 5s and completing classes in tertiary institutions.
Dlamini said the 2020 academic year has to be achieved for a number of reasons including;
- The need to supply a skilled labour force into the labour market,
- To allow entry into higher education institutions,
- To allow progression in the general education system ,
- To allow adequate time for students doing practical subjects to prepare for their examinations.
- To ensure comparability of the country’s educational system and learning outcomes with the rest of the world.
The Premier added that the government has renewed contracts for teachers and filled 22 Head Teachers positions at all levels and hired an additional of 170 teachers at secondary level.
Dlamini said schools are in different levels of preparedness ahead of reopening but most of them are ready to re-open as assessed by cabinet by Cabinet Minister, Members of the Parliament, Ministry of Health officials and Education Officials. Dlamini said government will continue monitoring the situation on the ground and provide updates on the implementation of COVID-19 guidelines in the educational institutions.
The Prime Minister appealed to returning students strictly adhere to health precautions of following social distancing protocols, wearing masks at all times and not sharing them under any circumstance, washing hands regularly. “We urge parents to also ensure that their children are well advised on all the health protocols.
Dlamini went on to give response on transportation towards schools reopening. He said public transport should load at 80% capacity with adherence to health measures such as sanitization and usage of masks at all times. Dlamini added that dedicated transport will provided where possible, especially in hot spot areas.
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