COVID-19:Rwandan schools partly reopen after 7-month suspension

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Kigali, Nov. 2, 2020 (Xinhua/Naija247news) Senior students in all Rwandan primary and secondary schools resumed their studies on Monday after over seven months of suspension since March amid concerns over the spread of COVID-19.

The resumption of the schools was in accordance to the Rwandan ministry of education’s calendar issued in October, Rwandan Minister of Education Valentine Uwamariya said on Monday,

Technical and Vocational Education and Training (TVET) and Teacher Training Colleges (TTC) have also reopened on the same day.

Primary 5 and 6, Secondary 3, 5 and 6 students and level 3, 4 and 5 students of TVET resumed second term studies in November, while students of all levels in TTC started their second term studies, ministry said.

Primary 4 pupils and students in secondary 1, 2 and 4 are instructed to resume second term studies on November 23.

Students of primary 1 to primary 3 and nursery will have to wait for at least January 2012 while continuing studying online.

School administrators have been instructed by Ministry of Education to ensure full implementation of precautionary measures to prevent further outbreak of COVID-19, Uwamariya said.

The minister added that schools were reopened after a thorough assessment by the ministry regarding the fulfilment of COVID-19 prevention and control measures.

The measures to ensure the safety of reopening schools include keeping administrators’ premises clean by installing sufficient hand washing and sanitising facilities and enforcing social distancing measures.

Others are cleaning classrooms and grounds as well as spraying disinfectant around facilities to reduce the risk of infections.

In addition, administrative staff, teachers and students must wear face masks at all times at school, and parents must also wear masks while dropping off and picking up their children.

“Students have returned to school today and we are excited to have them here because we have been preparing for this day.

“Our main priority now is the health and safety of our students,” Samuel Nkurunziza, Head Teacher of Kagarama Secondary School in Kicukiro district, Kigali, said.

His school has put in place all the required COVID-19 prevention and control measures and the task now is to enforce the full implementation of the measures by the school staff and students, he said.

Higher learning institutions that fulfilled COVID-19 preventive and control measures have gradually reopened since Oct. 12.

Rwandan Ministry of Health on Sunday reported nine new cases of COVID-19 and 42 recoveries, bringing the total cases and recoveries to 5,146 and 4,921, respectively, with 35 deaths.

There are about 2.5 million primary school students and about 600,000 secondary school student in Rwanda, according to official figures.

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