Malawi, Ghana, Nigeria Announce Immediate Plans to Reopen Schools

Malawi, Ghana, Nigeria Announce Immediate Plans to Reopen Schools

Malawi’s President Lazarus Chakwera has announced the government’s plans to reopen schools early September, despite a surge in COVID-19 cases.

In his weekly national address Saturday evening President Chakwera said only schools that meet the government’s safety standards on coronavirus prevention would be allowed to reopen. But health experts warn of further spread of the disease should the schools fail to put up necessary measures to contain the spread.

Malawi’s government announced the indefinite closure of schools on Mar. 20 before the country registered its first three cases of COVID-19, on Apr. 2. According to Chakwera, the decision to reopen the schools stems from strides Malawi is making in its fight against COVID-19.”

The move to reopen schools is an apparent response to a request from education activists who last week met Chakwera and told him the closure of schools was jeopardizing the future of students, especially girls.

They cited hundreds of girls across the country who have fallen pregnant and others getting married since the schools closed. Earlier last week, the Ministry of Health announced guidelines for school authorities to follow once schools are reopened.

These include temperature checks, documentation of persistent cough or shortness of breath, and routine documentation of students from families affected by COVID-19.

Ghana’s Announces Reopening of Tertiary Institutions amid Pandemic

Ghanaian President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo said late Sunday that tertiary institutions in the country will reopen on Aug. 24 for students who have yet to complete the academic year.

The government will put in place necessary preventive measures to allow students to return to school safely, Akufo-Addo said during his 15th COVID-19 national address.

“Government, through the Ministry of Education and the Ghana Education Service, will ensure that all these tertiary institutions are disinfected. Universities will be equipped with necessary personal protective equipment, and those with their hospitals and clinics will have isolation centres to deal with positive cases,” Akufo-Addo added.

Nigerian High School Students Begin Final Exams.

More than 1.5 million final year secondary school students in Nigeria will sit their final exams from Monday. The students have been in schools for the last two weeks preparing for the examinations. 

They lost several months of learning from March to July because of coronavirus restrictions which saw schools closed. School administrators have ensured social distancing to avoid the spread of coronavirus during the exams.

The exams determine progress to universities and other tertiary institutions. Nigeria has the highest number of candidates by far – with more than 1.5 million students in more than 19,000 schools. Universities and other tertiary institutions remain closed in the country.