Leroy Dzenga Herald Reporter
Churches renting school halls and classrooms for services have to find alternative premises, as Government has decided its premises cannot be used during the Covid-19 emergency to protect examination form pupils allowed to go back to school.

After seeing that schools had reopened for examinations, some churches were approaching schools to see if they could resume using them over the weekends, a request which has been turned down.

In a statement yesterday, Primary and Secondary Education Minister, Ambassador Cain Mathema said schools could only be used for teaching.

“It has come to the Ministry`s attention that there are some organisations including churches that would like to use school premises and structures during this Covid-19 period and as we prepare for the reopening of schools on July 28 2020.

“I would like to state that school is opening only for 2020 examination classes and the other levels will resume school when the health situation permits,” Minister Mathema said.

Allowing cross-use of facilities would put learners at risk as the virus which causes Covid-19 can survive on surfaces for many hours.

“In light of this, I would like to confirm that the Government`s focus is on ensuring safe and secure reopening that meets World Health Organisation guidelines. Given the need to disinfect schools and make other preparations, schools will not be open for use by other organisations until further notice,” Minister Mathema added.

The decision means a number of small Pentecostal churches may have to delay their return to operation as they used classrooms for chapels.