Unicef backs schools’ reopening
SENIOR STAFF WRITER
THE United Nations Children’s Fund (Unicef) Zimbabwe says the reopening of schools should be prioritised ahead of other public institutions, the Daily News reports.
“We recognise that the pandemic is impacting countries and local communities differently and the global situation is evolving rapidly. Decisions on when to open schools must be made in the best interests of children. Countries must look at the impact on children not able to access learning as well as through a public health, socio-economic and protection lens.“We know that the longer children stay out of school, the more exposed they are to dangers. This is especially true for children who are already vulnerable. We are calling for schools to be among the first services to open when the appropriate safety measures are put into place,” Unicef Zimbabwe said.
Unicef called on the government to ensure that many precautions and preparations are planned to ensure the schools are safe for learners, teachers, staff and parents.
“There are several steps that need to be undertaken before reopening of schools and the government should ensure school buildings, classrooms, teachers’ houses, water, sanitation and hygiene (Wash) facilities and grounds are thoroughly disinfectedbefore reopening and that essential personal protective equipment (PPE) for both teachers and children are availed.“Both learners and teachers should attend the orientation on Covid-19, to be organised by the school before reopening. Schools should prepare a list of learners, teachers and other staff members with underlying conditions or special needs and schools should have a list of critical Covid-19 resources in place,” Unicef said.