World Vision Malawi has asked government to carefully weigh options on the possibilities to reopen schools in the country amid growing concerns of increasing teenage pregnancies.
The call has been made at a press briefing held in Lilongwe on Wednesday.
Most districts across the country are registering highest number of teenage pregnancies a scenario which has been attributed to the elongated closure of schools due to COVID-19 pandemic which has strongly hit the country.
Speaking to YFM online, World Vision Director of Programs, Charles Chimombo, said government may wish to analyze the impact of school closure on the future of education and issues of child protection.
Chimombo said: “Our call is to ensure that the wellbeing of children is improved through ensuring that they are well educated, enjoy good health, protected and cared for, therefore in this circumstance where children cannot access education due to the pandemic, it’s a very disheartening event so whether schools will open or not but one thing which cannot be taken away from these children is the right to education.”
He further asked relevant authorities to brainstorm on ways that might assist to reduce risk of infections if schools are reopened.
In her remarks minister responsible for Social Welfare, Patricia Kaliati, said government is still assessing the situation, but she was quick to highlight that the decision to open schools will only be arrived if there is an assurance of safe environment for the children.
“We are well aware of the concerns but its not just a matter of re-opening the schools but also we have to make sure that our children are safe from the pandemic,” said Kaliati.
School-going children in Malawi have been home since March 23, due to Government’s COVID-19 prevention measures that led to closure of schools with the aim to prevent the spread of the virus.