Addressing journalists here yesterday, Education, Science and Technology minister Prof Joyce Ndalichako said boarding students are required to report to their respective schools on May 30.
This follows President John Magufuli’s directive that secondary schools (Form Six students), colleges and universities reopen on June 1.
Prof Ndalichako instructed government officials at regional and district levels to make necessary arrangements before the schools start receiving students by the end of next week.
The required arrangements include putting in place measures to control the proliferation of Covid-19 amongst students. Those in boarding schools should sleep in observance of social distancing as well as making sure that each of the students wears a face mask routinely.
Minister Ndalichako directed the National Examinations Council of Tanzania (NECTA) to ensure timely distribution of examination timetables and fast-track the marking of exams and release of results.
“Form Six national examination results will be out before August 30 to enable well-performing students to submit their applications to higher learning institutions,” she said, noting that only schools that offer advanced secondary school education will be opened on the set date.
With regard to primary and secondary school students, she said they should wait a little longer “as the government monitors the pandemic situation”.
Commenting on students’ loans, Prof Ndalichako said the Higher Education Students Loans Board (HESLB) has already set aside 122.8bn/- for students eligible for loans in the coming academic year (2020/2021).
“Universities should submit essential documents to HESLB by May 28 so that funds are disbursed and reach students on time,” she emphasized.
She also directed colleges and universities to make sure that studies are conducted in a way that will enable teachers to cover all remaining topics to compensate for the time lost due to closure necessitated by the Covid-19 pandemic.
“Timetables have to be altered in order to have more learning sessions to compensate for time lost,” she said, ordering universities and colleges to submit the new procedures to relevant authorities – the Tanzania Commission for Universities (TUC) and the National Council for Technical Education (NACTE).
Submission of proposals for new procedures will enable the government to know is planned for students in the third quarter of the 2019/2020 academic year.
Universities and schools should take action to curb the spread of the virus, with students observing hygiene protocols to avoid easy infection.
The government is preparing special hygiene protocols for universities and schools, via the Ministry of Health in collaboration with the office of the Chief Medical Officer.
Mwita Waitara, the Deputy Minister of State in the President’s Office (Regional Administration and Local Governments) responsible for the education sector, meanwhile said teachers and students must wear face coverings and ensure regular hand washing using soap and running water or using alcohol-based hand rubs or sanitisers.
He instructed regional and district authorities to ensure that hand washing facilities are in place before schools reopen, adding that teachers should prepare students psychologically to enable them to perform well in the coming final examinations.
“Students are allowed to go to school with ginger and even perform steam inhalation. They should undergo body temperature screening every day,” said Waitara.
He said arrangements will be made for students with special needs to meet these requirements, cautioning that students should report on the set date, as punitive measures will be taken on those reporting late.
Speaking soon after the swearing-in of new ambassadors to Kenya, Algeria and Mozambique as well as Health deputy minister Dr Godwin Mollel at the Chamwino State House in Dodoma on Thursday, President Magufuli ordered the reopening of universities, colleges and high school classes effective from June 1, saying the number of Covid-19 cases in the country had maintained a declining trend.
Students are resuming classes after staying home for more than two months since schools were closed on March 17, a day after the country recorded the first case of Covid-19.