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.
Technical and Vocational Education and Training (TVET) and Teacher Training Colleges (TTC) have also reopened on the same day.
Primary Five and Six, Secondary Three, Five and Six students and level three, four and five students of TVET resumed second term studies in November, while students of all levels in TTC started their second term studies, according to the Rwandan ministry of educationâ€™s calendar issued in October.
Primary Four pupils and students in secondary One, Two and Four are instructed to resume second term studies on November 23. Students of primary one to primary three and nursery will have to wait for at least January next year 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, Rwandan Minister of Education Valentine Uwamariya told Xinhua in a telephone interview on Monday, adding that schools reopened after a thorough assessment by her ministry regarding the fulfilment of COVID-19 prevention and control measures.
The measures to ensure the safety of reopening schools include keeping administratorsâ€™ premises clean by installing sufficient hand washing and sanitizing facilities, enforcing social distancing measures, cleaning classrooms and grounds and 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.
â€śStudents 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,â€ť Samuel Nkurunziza, head teacher of Kagarama Secondary School in Kicukiro district, Kigali, told Xinhua in a telephone interview.
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 October 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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