Daniel Itai – The Zimbabwe Daily

Dar es Salaam, Tanzania – Despite having more than 500 COVID-19 confirmed cases and 21 deaths, Tanzanian schools yesterday welcomed back learners after schools were suspended for three months due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Tanzania is one of the very few countries in Africa that never imposed a nationwide lockdown but rather insisted on having COVID-19 restrictions.

“The government has instructed schools to install hand-washing facilities and arrange running water and also educate school children about safety measures like wearing of masks in school assembly and classrooms, except for students with underlying health problems, such as diabetes, sickle cell, asthma, all students should wear face masks most of the time,” said Gerald Chama, the Ministry of Health’s spokesperson.

However, the reopening of schools has been received with mixed feelings among parents and teachers, with some teachers citing that they are very happy to be back at work, emphasising that students were very much affected psychologically for missing classes.

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There were however others, who said the decision of reopening schools was premature in the wake of the continuous threat of a pandemic pointing out that it was inappropriate to decide to send children back to school while the masses don’t know clearly whether there’s still a high threat of people being infected, citing that the decision to reopen schools is political and therefore might have dire consequences since the COVID-19 guidelines recommend by the World Health Organization are not being strictly followed.