CSEC calls for support for Covid-19 response plan in education sector

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CSEC calls for support for Covid-19 response plan in education sector
CSEC calls for support for Covid-19 response plan in education sector

Africa-PressMalawi. Amid the raging third wave of Covid-19 pandemic, the Civil Society Education Coalition (CSEC) has called for more concerted efforts in enhancing the effectiveness of a Covid-19 response plan in the education sector in Malawi in order to avoid further disruption of schools and mitigate further spread of the virus.

Programs committee chairperson for CSEC board, Wesley Chabwera, made the sentiments Monday in the capital Lilongwe during the coalition’s annual general assembly, which was held under the theme; CSOs United for a Post-Covid19 Education Response: Building a Resilient Education System.

Malawi has had two school closures since the pandemic was declared, developments that adversely affected the school calendar and made thousands of pupils and young students quickly become fathers and mothers because they were idle at home.

With the third wave of the pandemic just beginning to take its toll on the country, the government is reportedly doing, among other things, the following; decongesting classes, increasing school shifts, employing more teachers, building makeshift classes and encouraging online learning.

All that is in an attempt to ensure that education continues in order to avoid the early pregnancies that occurred in the first and second waves of the pandemic.

In his sentiments, Chabwera commended the government for the measures it is undertaking and urged stakeholders in the education sector to support the implementation of the measures so they become more effective in the education Covid-19 response.

“The Covid-19 pandemic presents formidable challenges of all times that require unity of purpose and steadiness. In the face of the pandemic, we should stand shoulder shoulder to make sure that our education system is resilient. The education Covid-19 response should be adequately and consistently financed.

“We need more personal protective equipment (PPEs), soap, wash facilities, adequate infrastructure and teachers,” said Chabwera, who also works at Forum for African Women Educationalists in Malawi (FAWEMA).

In his remarks, director of education planning in the Ministry of Education, Francis Zhuwao, acknowledged that an operational education Covid-19 response plan is indeed in place and requiring the support of all relevant stakeholders in the education sector.

“In order to decongest classes, the Ministry of Education is constructing low cost classrooms across the country. The ministry is also embarking on a huge program to start in December, 2021 where we are targeting 10,000 classrooms across the country through the Malawi Education Reform Program.

“We hope the current deficit of 60,000 classrooms can be addressed through such initiatives. The ministry will train more teachers in the Teachers Training Colleges and through other available modes to reduce the current teacher deficit,” Zhuwao said.

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