Gov’t orders schools to adhere to health measures

By Gilo Jr. Okwata

Government has ordered all schools to strictly follow and observe health safety measures as schools reopen on 5th October across the country.

While addressing the media after meeting with the Committee on Education Research, Science and Technology, the Minister of General Education and Instructions, Awut Deng Acuil said every school must strictly adhere to the Covid-19 measures which have been the guiding principles for everybody in the country to curb the spread of coronavirus pandemic.

“This message must go very clear to everyone, public schools, private schools, to the States and counties that we want to make sure that the measures are adhered to, the social distancing, wearing of facemasks, washing hands with soap and water, sanitizing hands and checking of temperature,” she said.

She underscored the challenges posed by the unfavorable environment created by Covid-19 amid schools’ reopening and urged parents to cooperate as task ahead required collective responsibilities.

“We will also do our best to disinfect the schools before their use. So, the safety of our children lies in all of us, that the parents have to play a role, the teachers have to play a role and the students themselves have to play a role and for education to be successful each parent must play a role so that collectively we are able to protect our children,” Awut added.

The minister clearly emphasized that the schools were opened only for candidates from primary eight and those sitting for South Sudan’s Certificate for Secondary Education.

Meanwhile, the chairperson of the Parliamentarian Committee on Education Research, Science and Technology, Ahmed Mohamed Musa expressed his disappointment at the congestion of students in the classes when the committee visited University of Juba on Tuesday and found lecture halls crowded with students who were not observing safety measures.

“What we got there is a bit embarrassing because the students were congested, most of them have the masks but they were keeping them in their pockets which is wrong. The rules of Covid-19 are clear and we have to abide by them. That is using facemask, social distancing and washing hands because this can be done by all people,” Mohamed said.

However, the Minister of Higher Education was not available for comment as he missed the sitting due to other official assignments.

As a result of the upsurge of coronavirus infections in the country, schools and other public places such as mosques, Churches and funeral gatherings were ordered by the government to close as an attempt to prevent the spread of Covid-19. However, most of these places of social gatherings have reopened and schools are set to begin early next month.

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