24th June 2021
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Schools cautioned against reopening

Author: Priscah Akol | Published: Wednesday, June 24, 2020

File: A session at Gudele Parents and Jada Jedid Nursery and Primary Schools on Monday, 22 June 2020 | Credit | Dhal Malual

The undersecretary at the Ministry of General Education and Instructions has warned public and private schools against reopening amid the coronavirus pandemic.

Kuyok Abol Kuyok says it is illegal for classes to resume while the country is still battling with efforts to contain the virus.

In March, the task force on coronavirus closed schools and other social gatherings in a bid to prevent the spread of the virus.

Kuyok’s statement followed the resumption of studies at some schools in Juba since Monday this week.

Some of the pupils seen in classes on Monday wore only facemasks without gloves and a bit of social distance between desks.

It is not clear if the pupils, teachers and other school staff were tested for the virus before reporting to school.

Kuyok told Eye Radio that parents should never allow their children to go to school while cases of coronavirus are still on the rise.

He warned that schools that violate the public health directive will be penalized.

“We are running a distancing learning program on radios and we encourage parents and children and teachers to turn to these programs to listen to those programs,” Kuyok stated.

Regardless of the surge in cases, some lockdown restrictions including travel and trade bans were eased last month in South Sudan.

However, restrictions on learning institutions and religious events remain in place.

There is seemingly reluctance in observing social distancing as some social events such as funerals continue to take place.

Some schools in Juba are now using the window of reluctance in enforcing coronavirus restrictions to reopen classes for candidates.

“Parents should not allow their children to go to these schools,” he added.

But experts have advised that reopening schools without proper hygiene facilities, respiratory etiquette, physical distancing measures, cleaning procedures for facilities and safe food preparation practices are a serious risk to children.

According to the Centers for Disease Control, the more students or staff member interacts with each other, and the longer that interaction, the higher the risk of spreading coronavirus.

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