Malawi Issues COVID-19 Guidelines for Education Institutions (Must Read)


The Ministry of Education, Science and Technology (MoEST), has released guidelines on COVID-19 pandemic to help education institutions manage the disease during school time and on holidays.

World Health Organisation (WHO) declared COVID-19 which causes Corona Virus as a pandemic.The education ministry in it’s guidelines issued on yesterday, 17th March, 2020 has urged institutions to follow the prescribed guidelines for the prevention and management of the Coronavirus for the protection against infection of learners, students, staff and the general public.

“Malawi has so far not registered any case of COVID-19. However, it is advisable that as a nation we remain vigilant against infection of the disease.” Indicates Justin Adack Saidi, Secretary for the ministry.

The guidelines defines COVID-19, signs and symptoms, how it spreads, it’s treatment, who is at risk.

The document has 28 guidelines and checklist “The Ministry is committed to ensuring the health and safety of all learners and wards. These measures are not intended to raise alarm, but are implemented as a precaution even though there areno reported cases of Coronavirus in Malawi at present.” Said Saidi.

Saidi has since encouraged parents and guardians to collaborate with the Ministry by following the news and implementing good hygiene and preventative measures as advised by Health Authorities.

List of Guidelines and Checklist

01. Schools are not allowed to receive visitors coming from outside the country unless approved by the Ministry.

02. Promote and demonstrate regular hand washing and positive hygiene behaviours.

03. Ensure soap and safe water is available at ageappropriate hand washing stations.

04. Encourage frequent and thorough hand washing (at least for 20 seconds).

05. If soap and water are not available, use an alcohol-based hand rub.

06. Ensure adequate, clean and separate toilets or latrines for girls and boys.

07. Clean and disinfect school buildings, classroomsand especially water and sanitation facilities at least once a day, particularly surfaces that are touched by many people (railings, lunch tables, sports equipment, door and window handles, toys, teaching and learning aids etc.)

08. Increase air flow and ventilation (open windows,use air conditioning where available, etc.)

09. Post signs encouraging good hand and respiratory hygiene practices.

10. Ensure trash is removed daily and disposed of safely.

11. Encourage students and staff to stay home if sick.

12. Monitor absenteeism.

13. Plan for digital and distance learning where possible.

14. Be prepared to temporarily dismiss or close schools and cancel events on advisory.

15. Teachers should check on every learner first thing in the morning before lessons begin so that if one is found with strange signs (difficulty in breathing, cold/ cough, fever or flu) his/her parents can immediately be informed to come and pick their child.)

16. Parents and guardians are encouraged to keep checking their children/wards and make sure that if they observe such signs on him/her, you do not send that child to school.

17. Make sure children including grown ups drink water frequently so that the throat is not left dry and avoid f luids with ice.

18. Prevent stigma by using facts and reminding students to be considerate of one another.

19. Coordinate with the school to receive information and ask how you can support school safety efforts (though parent-teacher committees, etc.)

20. Inform learners not to stigmatize their peers or tease anyone about being sick; they should always remember that the virus doesn’t follow geographical boundaries, ethnicities, age or ability or gender.

21. Tell leaners to inform their parents, other family members, or a caregiver if they feel sick, and they should ask to stay home.

22. Enlighten learners to focus on good health behaviours, such as covering coughs and sneezes with the elbow and washing hands frequently.

23. Have children sit further apart from one another,they should keep enough space to not touch their friends.24. Contact sports and other activities should be greatly discouraged.

25. Introduce the concept of social distancing (standing further away from friends, avoiding large crowds, not touching people if you don’t need to, etc.)

26. Help children understand the basic concepts of disease prevention and control. Use exercises that demonstrate how germs can spread. For example, by putting coloured water in a spray bottle and spraying over a piece of white paper. Observe how far the droplets travel.

27. Incorporate relevant health education into other subjects.

28. Get information only from official and trusted.

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Misso Chitsamba
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