MAPUTO. — Parents and entities in the Mozambican province of Gaza have disagreed with the resumption of face-to-face classes and suggest the cancellation of the entire school year to safeguard human lives.
“They should not use the children as a test,” they say.
At a time when there is already community transmission of Covid-19 in Mozambique, parents, guardians and civil society in the southern province of Gaza have come out against the resumption of Grade 12 classes from July 27.
To date, there are 18 active cases of Covid-19 in the province.
Some parents interviewed by DW Africa maintain that the government has taken a unilateral decision without consulting them or taking their situation into account.
Isidro Banze, a guardian who lives in Chidenguele, 70 kilometres from Xai-Xai, the provincial capital says the government should think of the people first.
“The government should think about us first, and visit communities before drawing up any programme. We are being told to stay at home, but the number (of infections) is rising. I do not know what will happen when the children return to schools,” he says.
Alfredo Munguambe, another guardian, decries government’s decision and says his children will not go back to school this year.
“This experiment that the government wants to do on our children is very unfortunate. I don’t know where I’m going to scream, but that’s because we have nowhere to complain. I can only say that at least my children won’t go to school this year — for them it will be cancelled,” he says.
Civil society, on the other hand, says that the decision to resume classes carries the risk of spreading Covid-19 among the students, their families and the communities in general.
Carlos Mhula, of the Human Rights League, backs the cancellation of the entire school year.
“They (shouldn’t) use our children as Guinea pigs. It’s less than five months before the end of the school year — it would be better to cancel it altogether. Now there is concern about them taking our children and exposing them to the virus, because they know that their own children are not there — they are in Paris, New York, in the best schools and in the best conditions,” he says.
The three-and-a-half billion meticais (about €44 million) that the government intends to spend on the reorganisation of schools should be applied to the improvement of school infrastructure in general, he says, with eyes set on the 2021 academic year. — DW.