Independent Schools Association of Malawi(ISAMA), has given government a two-week ultimate to open schools which were closed in March 2020 due to Covid19 pandemic, or witness countrywide demonstrations should it fail to take heed of the request.
In a letter dated 18th May 2020, signed by Chairman and Secretary of the body, ISAMA has accused the Taskforce established by government on 6th May 2020 of not regarding the right to education for students in the country as a serious matter.
The independent Schools umbrella body, has lamented that the government has among other things responded positively to some areas also affected by the pandemic which include Health workers and Prison wardens demands being attended to, ordering Banks to provide moratorium to business, provision for cash to vulnerable families and many more, yet no considerations or commitments have been made for the re-opening of Schools.
ISAMA has also disapproved the government’s efforts of providing education to students through online materials as a way of preventing the spread of Covid19, citing it favours a very small percentage of learners and leaves out the most vulnerable ones unattended to.
Apart from echoing that students rights to education are being violated, ISAMA has also cited that Girls, Children and Youth with disabilities, and Young people affected by trauma or mental health issues are the ones who have been hardly hit by the closure of Schools.
The body has threatened that if the government will not re-open Schools by 1st June 2020, it will in conjunction with the directors of Schools, mobilize teachers, students of Primary Schools, Secondary Schools, Universities and parents to hold Mass Demonstrations accros the country on 5th June 2020.
Meanwhile, ISAMA has proposed the government to put in place strict measures that will ensure protection of the learners when Schools re-open, and has since requested the ministry of education to consider changing the learning time table to allow completion of second term, commencement of third term and transition into the next academic year.
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