Tanzanian schools urged to observe COVID-19 guidelines for reopening

A young Burundian refugee completes an exercise on a blackboard at Jugudi Primary School in Nyarugusu Refugee Camp, Kigoma Province, north-west Tanzania. (February 2019)Photo by UNHCR/Farha Bhoyroo

Tanzanian education authorities on Wednesday urged schools to strictly observe prevention and protection guidelines for COVID-19 before they reopen on June 29, 2020.

“All schools management should put in place prevention and protective guidelines for COVID-19 issued by health authorities, including installing facilities for hand washing,” said Joyce Ndalichako, Minister for Education, Science and Technology.

Addressing a news conference in the capital Dodoma a day after President John Magufuli had announced the reopening of the schools from June 29, Ndalichako said the government will continue monitoring the observation of the guidelines in schools to protect the students.

She also announced measures taken by the government to fine-tune the school curriculum to make up for time lost when the schools were closed for more than three months following the outbreak of the virus pandemic in the country.

On Tuesday, President Magufuli announced the country will reopen all schools and resume all social activities from June 29.

In his address to dissolve parliament televised live by state-run Tanzania Broadcasting Corporation in the capital Dodoma, Magufuli told the nation that all activities that were suspended following the outbreak of the viral disease should restart.

On May 21, Magufuli announced the reopening of universities and sports activities on June 1 after what he described as a drop in COVID-19 infection cases.

Prime Minister Majaliwa announced the shutdown of schools and universities on March 17 and March 18, respectively, following the outbreak of the virus in the east African nation.