FRANCIS LUNGU, Lusaka
ON A chilly Monday morning, Khadija Jere, a Grade 9 pupil, leaves home at 06:15 hours for school, equipped with a face mask and a small bottle of hand sanitiser in her pocket.
On arrival at Kabuloga Girls Secondary School, a member of staff checks her body temperature and then gives her the green light to proceed to class. After that, Khadija proceeds to a mounted water tank to wash her hands with soap, and then proceeds to her classroom.
Other pupils coming after her also follow the same procedure. It is called the new normal way of socialising that all schools are expected to follow according to the stipulated public health guidelines against COVID-19, a global pandemic that has claimed about 128 lives in Zambia since the first case was confirmed on March 18, 2020.
Khadija and Mapalo Chuma, both Grade 9 pupils, praised the school authorities for the measures put in place to implement the health guidelines to fight COVID-19.
“We just have to follow the rules. Masks may be uncomfortable, but it is for our own good,” they said in unison.
The coronavirus, being a respiratory disease, affects the lungs, and symptoms start with a fever, followed by a dry cough which can lead to breathing problems.
“For us, checking of temperature for everyone who enters the premises is a must. We even have three thermometers for that,” Kabulonga Girls head teacher Agnes Chikwanda said in an interview.
She manages a school with a combined pupil population of 649 for both Grade 9s and 12s, with about 96 teachers.
In observing social distancing, the 141 Grade 9s have been spread out in four classes as opposed to the normal two, while the 508 Grade 12s have been allocated 20 classrooms instead of the CLICK TO READ MORE