Staff Writer

Schools meant to resume face-to-face learning later this month will now start their classes on 4 August, the Ministry of Education, Arts and Culture has revealed.

All learners from pre-primary to Grade 9 and Grades 10 to advanced subsidiary learners (AS) who were to start classes on 26 July and 19 July respectively, will now be back in classes on 4 August, despite President Hage Geingob last week warning that according to expert opinion, the third wave of the COVID-19 pandemic could yet reach its peak in August.

“Expert projections and simulation tools indicate that the rising incidence curve, during this Third Wave, is expected to peak around mid-August and may continue well until mid-September 2021. The darkest hour of the night, comes just before day-break. It is expected to get worse, before it becomes better. We must therefore do everything in our power to suppress the rate of transmission,” Geingob said last week.

This comes as the health ministry on Monday, 5 July, also confirmed the presence of the Delta variant, which is more transmissible, in the country.

“There are serious mental health implications for learner, teaching and unified staff members. The ministry therefore implores the school community that the provision of psychosocial support to learners should continue now, and also when schools re-open,” Education ministry Executive Director, Sanet Steenkamp, states.

“We further encourage our teachers to also reach out for counselling, therapy and assistance where needed and to practice self-care.”

The Education ministry further requested its regional directors to mobilise regional and school staff members to get vaccinated.