The National Planning Taskforce on education has called on the Presidential Taskforce on coronavirus to consider reopening Schools, Colleges and Universities, as a statement by the planning taskforce has recommended that all learning institutions be re-opened on 13 July, 2020.
The statement signed by the chairman of the National Planning Taskforce, Professor Lewis Dzimbiri, says that the decision arrived after consulting various stakeholders including teachers, parents, lecturers, students, policy makers, community leaders, health experts, non-state actors and the media among others, to come up with a common position that ensures safe return to learning. Being cautious, the taskforce has called for the reopening to be of specific details and conditions, which will be announced later after the taskforce finalizes the consultations.
The call comes after Malawi has seen presidential rallies host mass gatherings of people, which goes against the preventative restrictions that His Excellency Peter Mutharika imposed to avoid the spread of coronavirus in Malawi. Not long after the politicians went against their own words, musicians also announced that they would return to having shows as normal, since people are gathering in their hundreds. Recently it was announced that there would be demonstrations to enforce the reopening of schools.
As the global pandemic is claiming millions of lives globally, a survey recently conducted by the Program on Governance and Local Development (GLD) and the Institute for Public Opinion and Research (Ipor) shows that 81% of Malawians are not very worried about becoming infected with Covid-19. The survey also outlines that the majority fear a negative perception if they are found to be coronavirus positive, but for the most part, Malawians remain unafraid of the pandemic. Part of the survey reads, “The percentage varies across districts, with the highest amount of concern in Chitipa and Karonga, on the Tanzania border, but most are not very worried.”