President Edgar Lungu has announced the opening of all schools, bars and night clubs which were closed due to the outbreak of COVID-19 in the country in March this year.

President Lungu said all schools, colleges and Universities will open between 14th and 28th September subject to adherence to public health certification.

The Head of State directed the Ministries of Higher and General Education to devise modalities that will ensure that all pupils and students catch up after losing six months of the academic calendar.

President Lungu explained that despite the virtual platforms of learning, government realized that many of pupils come from poor families that may not afford digital platforms hence the reopening of schools.

“While we have encouraged pupils and students to use virtual platforms during this challenging period, we should not forget that many of these young people come from poor families that cannot even afford to access these digital platforms, including buying internet bundles for learning,” stressed the Head of State.

ZANIS reports that President Lungu was speaking when he opened the Fifth session of the Twelfth National Assembly in Lusaka today.

President Edgar Lungu called on the two ministries of Education to ensure strict compliance to the five golden rules of COVID-19 under the new normal as backed by the World Health Organization (WHO).

“I therefore, announce the reopening of all schools, colleges, and universities with caution between 14th September, 2020 and 28th September, 2020, subject to adherence to public health certification, guidelines, regulations, and also to allow for satisfactory, and adequate preparedness by all relevant authorities including parents and guardians,” he said.

“The Ministry of General Education and the Ministry of Higher Education must come up with modalities that will ensure all pupils and students catch up, which may include revising the curricula. I also urge the two ministries to ensure strict compliance to the COVID-19 measures. I am encouraged to reopen the schools in the context of the new normal as espoused by the World Health Organization,” President Lungu said.

President Lungu bemoaned the negative impact that pupils, teachers, lecturers and students have faced since the closure of schools on March 17, 2020.

The Head of State said he is saddened that vices such as teenage pregnancies, child marriages, rape, defilement, alcohol abuse and incest are exposing pupils to HIV/AIDS as well as dropping out of school.

And President Lungu has also announced that bars and night clubs partially open and operate from 18 hours-23hours from Fridays to Sundays only.

He urged all patrons and bar owners to ensure that they follow health guidelines such as social distancing, masking up, hand washing among others as failure do oblige will result in the closure again.

President Lungu who arrived at Parliament buildings at 10:10 hours and was received by Vice president Inonge Wina gave an hour long timely speech.

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