Namibia: Schools to Open Between June, August

President Hage Geingob announcing Namibia's move to 'stage two' including a partial reopening of the economy.

The Ministry of Education, Arts and Culture has made a submission to cabinet for schools to re-open on 3 June or 3 August 2020 for traditional face-to-face learning.

This was said by Minister of Information and Communication Technology, Peya Mushelenga, when he gave an update on cabinet resolutions at the Covid-19 communication centre here in Windhoek on Wednesday.

Mushelenga noted that the most preferred option schools would follow is option one, which will permit schools to follow a quarterly system for face-to-face learning for both pupils and teachers. The academic year will then end on 28 May 2021.

"Cabinet took note that option one is preferred to provide ample time to prepare school facilities for the implementation of e-learning modes as well as to enable schools to adhere to Covid-19 regulations when classes resume. Also to enable institutions of higher learning to prepare for the new intake and for the Namibia Student Financial Association Fund to plan for student funding," he said.

The minister indicated that cabinet similarly took note of option two as an alternative in the event that the lockdown is extended beyond 5 May 2020, noting that face-to-face teaching and learning will then resume on 3 June 2020 following a phased-in approach and close on 18 December 2020 for the academic year.

"Cabinet took note that the education ministry will continue with stakeholder engagement in order to identify and adapt interventions for the continuity of tuition with minimum disruptions while ensuring the health and safety of learners and staff," he noted.

The ministry, he went on to say, was further directed to prioritise school and hostel infrastructure to enhanced hygiene standards in all educational institutions as per the Covid-19 public health guidelines.

All public and private schools closed on 16 March 2020 following the confirmation of the first two cases of Covid-19 in the country.

- Nampa

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