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News: EPHI says, “no change” in school schedule after Ministry announces rerun to normal shifts as of next school year

Dej. Wondirad Primary School in Addis Abeba. Picture Addis Standard

By Etenesh Abera @EteneshAb 

Addis Abeba, September 06/2021 – According to data obtained from the Ministry of Health (MoH), to date 3,277,931 people were tested for Covid-19, positive cases were registered at 314,984 while 283,991 people have recovered and 26,228 cases remain active. The ministry said there is a high probability of a third wave of new infections. 

No-one is alarmed it seems as Addis Kewaye, education expert at the ministry of education, who told Addis Maleda that the Ministry of Education (MoE) planned to return to normal schooling in 2014 Ethiopian calendar, (2021/22 GC).

The previous Ethiopian school year was held in two different shifts for three days a week, based on directives provided by the Ethiopian Public Health Institute (EPHI). The shift was introduced to control and prevent the spread of the COVID pandemic.

But if the new plans are implemented, schools will be operating according to their regular schedule: five days a week at a time when the third wave of the pandemic is at its peak, as compared to three days a week.

Dr. Tsigerda Kifle , EPHI Director General, told Addis Standard that the institution didn’t have the information about the new schedule by the MoE planning to resume normal schooling. She said that the new COVID prevention and control directive by EPHI was stricter than the old directive with regards to prevention measures.

“Directive 803/2021 (The new directive) states that it is prohibited for any public or private school, college or university to provide face-to-face education without respecting the directive,” she said, adding that the directive will be enacted strictly, and it “strengthens the earlier directive so there will be no change in the school shifts.’’

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Both the ministries of education and health are under one task force and are obliged to dispatch similar information. AS

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