Mzuzu — pic by Gracian Jeke
Mzuzu City Council (MCC) Covid-19 security and enforcement cluster has threatened to take action against schools that fail to comply with Covid-19 prevention measures as set by Ministries of Health and Education after noticing complacency in some of the institutions.
The cluster's chairperson, Patrick Chipeta Phiri, sounded the warning Tuesday during assessment of the degree of Covid-19 compliance in public and private schools in Mzuzu.
During the assessment, some schools failed to produce evidence of disinfection of classes before reopening and that pupils were not wearing masks.
Further some schools were found with congested classrooms and others could not use thermometer to test temperature for those entering their premises.
"That's what we have observed. We have actually given them timeline to work on those areas. When we were getting out of one private secondary school you might have observed that some people were held at the gate because they did not have masks.
"They are trying to respond to the direction we have given. We will make a follow up in the next five working days. My hope is that they are going to take these issues seriously just as government is taking them seriously," Phiri said.
Katoto Secondary School deputy head of administration, Mike Nyemba, commended the committee's visit to monitor adherence of Covid-19 prevention measures at the school.
"I am really impressed with the inspection because it is through such an activity that we can know if we are doing good or not.
Nyemba, however, urged government to employ temporary teachers to ease pressure on teachers in high enrollment institutions amid the pandemic.
He argued that the pandemic has reduced teacher to learner ratio in an attempt to observe social distance thereby creating more classes in need of more teachers.
Northern region education division school health and nutrition officer, Zamiwe Nkhoma, said her office has not registered any Covid-19 case either form a teacher or a leaner since reopening of schools.
She urged schools to keep hand washing soap, sanitizers, water buckets and basins and other preventive materials on top of observing social distance and wearing of face masks for both leaners and teachers.
Among the schools the team has visited so far are Mzuzu University, Mzuzu Technical College, Mzuzu International Academy, Katoto Primary School, Katoto Secondary School, Kauwa Primary School and Hilltop Foundation.
Covid-19 remains a threat to mankind as cases are resurfacing in countries that were successful in combating it including France and South Korea.
In Malawi the virus has so far claimed 182 lives out of 5861 confirmed cases.