Zambia: 'Govt's Closure of Schools Welcome'

Media Network on Childs rights and Development (MNCRD) Executive Director Henry Kabwe has said the move by Government to close schools so that children can be protected from the Coronavirus is a welcome move and parents and guardians should ensure that they too protected the children at home and kept checking on them regularly.

Mr Kabwe said even with schools closed it was the duty of parents and guardians to come up with creative innovations on how to keep the children busy at home to prevent them from wondering away in the neighbourhood so that they mingle with others as doing so could put them in danger of contracting the corona virus.

He said the mental health of children was such that they always wanted to expend their energies to some activity whether negatively or positively but more important, the onus was on parents to keep their minds busy all the time with productive things.

Mr Kabwe called on all parents across the country to be creative and communicate to the children because young ones easily get bored and fatigued if not kept busy.

"So parents should find time to spend with their children and introduce home school as one of the ways of keeping the school activities burning coupled with other creative activities of an entertainment nature," he said.

And Copper belt Provincial Education Officer(PEO) Felix Ngoma said closing of schools was necessary in the wake of the Covid -19 pandemic for safety reasons and teachers were directed to give children a lot of home assignments during this time of closure adding that parents should also ensure that they worked along with the kids on those assignments .

Mr Ngoma said parents should dedicate one or two hours to work with the kids and not just let them watch television alone.

"Everyday parents should take up one or two hours and dedicate it to their children and work with them on their school work, "he said.

Mr Kabwe also expressed concern on how the street children devoid of shelter are going to be protected from the corona virus pandemic as they were the ones more at risk.

With a lot of homeless kids finding themselves stuck on the streets for many reasons, Mr Kabwe said government should come up with a strategy on how they were also going to be kept safe and not exposed to the corona virus because if exposed they were the ones that would spread the disease to others as they move around.

"We need to ensure that we block all means of possible transmission so that the virus may not be spread further and protecting the street kids was one of the ways," Kabwe said.

He noted that the biggest concern was that the children living on the streets had no proper sanitation or access to clean water,so they needed to be kept in check and sensitised about the dangers of the virus for it was the duty of everyone to do so.

But Government through the ministry of youth and sport has announced measures to remove streets kids from the streets as they were potential conduits of the disease.

Minister Emmanuel Mulenga said the streets kids would be repatriated to orphanage centres where they could be provided with food ,beddings and caretakers.

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