Schools to remain closed until January 29, as cholera death, cases escalate


Government has announced that schools will remain closed for a further three weeks due to the surge in cholera outbreak.

Initially, schools were suppose to officially open on January 8, 2024.

Education Minister, Douglas Siyakalima, said the decision was made following the surge in cholera cases and subsequent deaths to the disease.

Announcing the decision at media briefing in Lusaka on Thursday, Syakalima, stated that schools would only open on Monday, January 29, 2024.

He added that the grace period which was earlier given to Grade Eight and 10 leaners had now been overtaken and all leaners are expected to open on January 29, 2024.

“Therefore, in orderto catch up on the time lost, the first term holidays will only run for one week instead of four weeks,” the Minister said.

Syakalima stated that this implied that schools would close for term one on April, 26 instead of April 5, 2024 and open for term two as scheduled on May 6, 2024.

He advised parents and guardians to ensure that they prepare their children for term two even before term one closes, in view of the short holiday time.

“During the prolonged closure, all learning institutions should be thoroughly cleaned up, have clean water and sanitation facilities, adequate hand washing points, detergents and disinfection” the Minister directed.

Read More: 156,315, out of 291,894 candidates make it to grade 10, representing 0.61% fall against 2022 pass rate

Syakalima stated that this was in addition to the provisions of the preventive guidelines already in schools.

He further directed learning institutions to maintain high level of hygiene at both personal and institutional levels as guided by the Ministry of Health.

“In addition, school inspections and sensitization will be intensified at all levels in order to ensure compliance to the guidelines,” Syakalima said.

He also encouraged parents and guardians to allow their children to make use of the available alternative modes of learning provided by the Ministry.

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