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Education Minister: Schools to remain open despite WHO COVID-19 warning

Wednesday, 15th July, 2020

MBABANE: Minister of Education Lady Howard Mabuza says schools will remain open despite World Health Organisation\'s (WHO) warning suggesting that this was too risky in the midst COVID-19 escalating crisis.

On Tuesday, WHO health Emergency Programme Executive Director Mike Ryan warned against the reopening of schools in the midst of a surge in infections of the novel coronavirus. But Minister of Education Lady Howard Mabuza when reached for comments by this publication said schools will remain open until the Ministry Of Health advises otherwise.

\"What is important to note is that we will still live with the virus for a long time. We cannot afford to throw away this academic year, we need to at least make sure that the Form 5\'s write their exams by the end of the year. However, we are closely monitoring the situation, the Ministry of Health will guide us should things get out of hand .So far the situation is manageable, people need to do the right thing by following health precautions,\" she said.

The Swaziland National Association of Teachers Secretary General, Sikelela Dlamini when reached for comments said the WHO\'s statement was logical and human.

“This is not rocket science, it is clear that the situation will soon get out of hand. The Ministry Of Health designed a checklist of non-negotiables that would assist in ensuring that schools were safe to reopen, but the Ministry Of Education decided to re-open schools without achieving even 70% of the non-negotiables .We need to put egos aside and confront the situation head on, schools must be closed to allow all the relevant stakeholders to go back to the drawing board to ensure that we reopen only when all the safety measures have been put in place, \" he said.

Education Minister: Schools to remain open despite WHO COVID-19 warning
Education Minister Lady Howard-Mabuza