Health Ministry Pushes For Full-Time Resumption Of Learning
The Ministry of Health on 1st December defended its push to have full time learning resume. The ministry argued that the school environment is the safest place for learners, especially during these Covid times.
Health Acting Director General, Patrick Amoth gave some reasons why the ministry is pushing the government to order learners back to respective learning institutions. He cited the safety of learners with regards to health and emotional/ physical security, and the economic impact of children being out of school.
“The phased reopening of schools has worked well. We have had cases of outbreaks in particular schools but the Ministry of Education has worked well with that of Health, to quarantine those learners and ensuring that learning continues uninterrupted,” said Dr Amoth during a brief at Afya House.
“We have stated that the school corridor is the safest for learners. When students are out of school, they suffer stress, anxiety, depression, sexual based violence, cases of teenage pregnancies, child labour, early marriages and this is a huge loss,” he added.
Amoth said the government is confident that the lessons learnt during this phased re-opening period and the Covid-19 protocols, will adequately give guidance to ensure children are safely back to school.
“Another reason why children need to get back to school is because the age groups of 10-19 years, within which they fall, have the lowest mortality related to Covid-19,” explained Amoth. He said that the risk of dying in that age group is 1 per 10,000 populations.
Amoth confirmed that plans are underway to ensure an adequate surveillance system is in place, upon resumption of learning.
Amoth’s concerns come at a time when NACC has reported that school going children are topping the list of new HIV infections, possibly attributed by the long stay at home.