This morning’s panel is discussing the reopening of schools and the return of pupils in phases. Panellists include executive director of education Sanet Steenkamp and Khomas education director Gerard Vries.

Steenkamp said the ministry has been planning pupils’ return to schools. She said 80% of schools are ready to receive pupils.

Sanet Steenkamp

According to her shools have procured soap and tippy taps, and have undergone deep cleaning. The Ministry of Education, Arts and Culture will provide funding for schools needing resources, she said.

Steenkamp said children’s health is priority.

She said if a child is sick, he or she should stay home. This applies to staff as well. Steenkamp said water will be provided in three ways: through tanks with the help of the agriculture ministry, by connecting schools close to water pipes, and by setting up boreholes.

Steenkamp said when pupils return to class, teachers will pick up where they left off, adding support will be available. The ministry said the school timetable will be adjusted to focus on the six promotional subjects. This means sport will not be part of the programme.

She said playgrounds will have demarcated areas to ensure social distancing.

In addition, the executive director said the ministry is working with the trade ministry to ensure pupils are provided with masks. She said caregivers and parents should consider children’s accommodation carefully to ensure hostels are not overcrowded. She added that the ministry will make funds available to restore hostel furniture.

Khomas education director Gerard Vries said all stakeholders, including private schools, have been involved in the planning process. He said unions are also involved in the disbursement of funding. He said the ministry has been consulting with the City of Windhoek about the suspension of water and electricity accounts.

Gerard Vries

Vries said the school feeding programme will continue and maize meal will be handed out to parents. He said the feeding programme has stock
until the end of July. They have liaised with suppliers to provide more stock after July, he said.

HEALTH UPDATE: Health minister Kalumbi Shangula says case number one, the Romanian national, has recovered from Covid-19, bringing the total number of recoveries from the new coronavirus to 14, with two active cases. There are no new confirmed cases.

Kalumbi Shangula
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