By Tione Andsen
Lilongwe, September 15, Mana: Government has admitted that Covid-19 pandemic still remains a public health threat that has resulted into a new social order.
Minister of Civic Education and National Unity, Timothy Mtambo said this Tuesday during the launch of students, parents and teachers engagement campaign on Covid-19 which will be carried out under the Ministry of Civic Education and National Unity (MoCENU).
He said World Health Organization (WHO) has conceded that the pandemic would remain in our habitat, staying with human race for some time.
Mtambo pointed out that with the re-opening of schools, there need to consider the nature and impact of the Covid pandemic in our day to day lives.
The Minister said the initiative would be championed by and implemented by National Initiative for Civic Education (NICE) Trust to ensure that all stakeholders are adhering to all precautionary measures as advised by health experts.
He said, “Realizing that the Covid-19 pandemic’s threat is there, the need for civic engagement on the prevention of the same cannot be over emphasized.
it was upon careful consideration and balance of the pandemic o one hand and the right to education on another hand that government has conceived a careful solution to open schools starting with classes whose critical examinations are due this year.”
Mtambo said in order to reach out to every part of the country; government has committed vehicles in all districts to support this campaign.
He said the campaign aims at engaging students to strictly follow Covid- 19 preventive measures such a proper wearing of recommended masks, washing hands with soap and observing social distance at all times.
“The Campaign will engage parents, guardians and teachers through loud hailing, jingles and distribution of Information, education Communication (IEC) materials such as brochures and leaflets.” Mtambo added.
Co-Chair of the Presidential Committee on Covid-19, Dr John Phuka observed that the opening of schools and airports has brought a new dimension in the cause to fighting that pandemic in the country.
He said strict adherence to the preventive measures needs to be taken into consideration adding that the pandemic was still prevailing in the country.
Phuka said the pandemic has a huge impact on the socio-economic well being of the country and has derailed cultural and social set ups.
He said it was very critical that stakeholders need to guard against the issue of misinformation regarding the Covid-19.
“From March 20, 2020, the country has recorded 5, 607 cases, 3,742 recoveries and 178 deaths with 66 percent recovery rate. What is now worrying is that the pandemic is mostly affecting young people in the country and the initiative has come at the right time to save them,” Phuka said.
NICE Trust Executive Director, Ollen Mwalubunju appealed to government, civil society, faith based organizations and all relevant stakeholders in the districts to join NICE and consider doing health talks to schools.
He said these health talks would ensure that there was an engagement with the learners on the importance of sticking to Covid-19 guidelines all the times and not only in schools.