Mbabane: Despite the relentless Covid-19 that continue to ravage Eswatini and allover the world, education cannot stop.
As government continues to monitor the prevailing situation of the Covid-19 pandemic, it has since become clear that schools were a safe place for learning thus government has announced the reopening of Grade 7 and Form 3 as well as allowing other levels in tertiary institutions to open from August 24, 2020.
The announcement was made by the Prime Minister Ambrose Mandvulo Dlamini in a press conference held at the Cabinet offices on Thursday, when giving a progress report on the reopening of schools.
Currently only Form 5s and finishing tertiary levels were allowed to open.
Dlamini said in view of the current stable situation observed with the Form 5 and completing classes at tertiary institutions which were opened on July 6, government has decided to reopen more levels with effect from Monday, August 24.
The premier announced that Form 3 will open on August 24 and close October 23 for second term and for the third term they will open on October 27 and close on December 18, 2020. On the other hand, Grade 7 will open on September 1 and close on October 30, 2020 for second term and for third tem they will open at November 2 and close December 18, 2020.
Similarly, more levels at tertiary institutions will be allowed to return to class and resume face-to-face instructional learning from Monday, 24 August 2020. Second year students are expected finish content and practical subjects between August 24 – September 4, 2020 and first year students to finish content and practical subjects between September 14 – September 25 2020
The prime minister also announced that the new academic year 2020/2021 for tertiary institutions begins on 5 October, 2020.
Dlamini noted that following the decision to reopen schools on the July 6, 2020, government has continued to monitor the safety of schools in the midst of the Coronavirus pandemic and implement stringent mitigation strategies.
He said the situational analysis emanating from these inspections indicate that schools are, by and large, a safe place for learning even at this time of the Covid-19 pandemic. Preventative measures such as screening, wearing of face masks, cleaning using disinfectants, regular washing of hands and continuous learning about Covid-19 according to the premier are implemented on a daily basis in schools.
In addition, Dlamini said government is providing meals for learners within the confines of the Covid-19 regulations and guidelines to minimize risk of transmission.
The ministries of health and education are working closely with schools and have developed tools, operation procedures and guidelines on how schools can cope and continue operating under the prevailing Covid-19 situation, also continuous training is being conducted for all stakeholders to increase safety in schools.