Mzuzu — Mzuzu City Council COVID-19 Security and Enforcement cluster has bemoaned the tendency by some teachers who teach without putting on face masks, saying they are not being exemplary and putting lives of learners at risk.
The cluster's chairperson, who is also Malawi Legal Aid Bureau Human Resource and Administration Manager, Patrick Chipeka Phiri, made the remarks Thursday after his team assessed over 20 public and private learning institutions on COVID-19 preventive measures compliance in Mzuzu.
"A teacher needs to set a good example to learners for them to embrace the same. It's sad that despite the country registering about 183 COVID-19 deaths as of October 21, 2020, some teachers are putting their masks in pockets and bags," he said.
He, however, said the team was pleased with adherence standards by some individuals and institutions.
"I would say excellent to some government and private schools, they score about 90 per cent.
"Some are midway between 45 and 60 per cent. But there are others that are down to 20 per cent and even below. That's now where we have a problem," he said.
Chipeka Phiri said from October 27, 2020, the team will follow-up with the schools again, starting with those rated below 50 per cent.
"We have advised on steps they have to take and given them time limits within which they have to fulfill that. We are making a follow up from Tuesday next week," he said.
Speaking on anonymity condition, ahead teacher said some teachers believe there is no COVID-19, which is why they do not put on face masks.
"Science teachers believe in science and put on face masks while those in humanities and others support the view that masks give breathing problems. However we advise them to be exemplary," he said.
Mzuzu City Senior Inspector of Schools, Penjani Gausi, said most schools have preventive materials but fail to use them.
"We have seen students having face masks, however, they are not wearing them," said Gausi.
Besides assessing the use of face masks, availability of handwashing facilities, thermometers for measuring body temperature and decongestion of classes to achieve social distancing, schools were asked to produce fumigation certificates.