Civil society education coalition CSEC has said any decision to close schools should be done on evidence that gives full account of the potential risk of maintaining schools

In a statement released on Wednesday CSEC executive director Benedicto Kondowe and board chairperson Jennipher Mkandawire say they support the idea that there should be a rapid assessment by presidential taskforce on covid-19

Kondowe and Mkandawire say closing the schools is a tough decision to make but should be the very last resort after trying intensive prevention, risk mitigation and containment measures.

The coalition supports the direction that five ministries should bang heads before advising presidential taskforce

“Education sector cluster should also examine how the current efforts in schools have fared in the face of the pandemic in order to guide on strategies,” Mkandawire and Kondowe

CSEC says the state has the duty to protect life and all other rights include of education

The coalition says this entails providing proper safeguards in order to protect the right to education

Kondowe and Mkandawire proposes decongestion, employment of double shifting and strict compliance to health guidelines if the schools are to keep open

” If the schools are schools are to close depending on severity of covid-19 infections, in case of partial or full lockdown, the closure should be gradual,” CSEC

The coalition suggests seriously putting in place measures to safeguard learners from social challenges that were recorded during first closure of schools