NATIONAL Action for Quality Education of Zambia (NAQEZ) has warned that teachers and learners are not safe in schools as COVID-19 prevention measures are not being adhered to.

In an interview, NAQEZ executive director Aaron Chansa noted that the revelation that some COVID-19 cases were recorded since schools had re-opened had vindicated them.

“The revelations by the Ministry of Health that we have a number of learners in Zambia, who have had COVID-19 before goes to prove what we have been saying. As an organisation, we have noted that most of our schools are not adhering to the COVID-19 guidelines, a lot of our learners are not masking up, they are no sanitisers in schools, a lot of schools have no desks so there is no social distancing and what the Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Health (Dr Kennedy Malama) has said has gone to vindicate what we said and this has made very sad reading,” Chansa said.

He urged the Ministry and school authorities to ensure precautionary measures were implemented.

“We would want to caution our school authorities and also the Ministry of General Education to take precautionary measures and make sure that our learners in schools are very safe. As things stand now, we don’t think that our teachers and learners are safe in schools. They are not protected and we think that it’s not very good for education. We want to improve our health situation so that our parents and our learners, including teachers, are not worried at all in our schools,” said Chansa.

On Wednesday, Dr Malama announced that 148 COVID-19 cases have so far been recorded in primary and secondary schools since they re-opened in September and expressed concern over the non-enforcement of masking up and hand hygiene in schools, thereby putting the learners and teachers at risk.