As schools in the UK return after the summer break, we bring you news of developments in Kabwe.

Family Futures Community School re-opened on 1 June for exam grades only – grade 7 and grade 9, closing for a shortened summer break on August 28. The school will reopen on September 14, but at the moment this is still for exam grades only.

Rev Moses Kopa, headteacher, describes how the re-opening has been working:

“….I can say so far so good. The teachers and the parents teamed up to clean the school surroundings and classrooms to make the place conducive for our children before they reported back. This gesture, especially from the parents was so encouraging. We held sensitization meetings for both the teachers and parents on Covid-19 to ensure collective responsibility in tackling the safety guidelines. Thereafter, the teachers set to prepare the schemes of work, lesson plans and all the necessary teaching and learning materials in readiness for teaching.

Let me mention that we were among the few schools that had all the basic requirements needed for prevention against the Corona Virus, so great thanks to FPZ for promptly approving the budget we had sent. The return of the children into school gave us a lot of anxiety but our readiness to receive them eased our nerves. Immediately the children came into school, we ensured every learner received a face mask and the guidelines were read and explained to them. Issues of social distancing in class were adequately addressed. The school is currently conducting two sessions; the G9s are reporting in the morning from 07:00am to 12:00pm and the G7s are starting their lessons at 12:30pm to 17:00pm; the G7s have their meal before they get to class and the G9s after the lessons.

….Management of suspected Covid-19 cases has also been addressed. The school has set up a temporary isolation bay which is being headed by Frank Shula, the Clinic Officer and members of the School Health and Nutrition Committee (SHN). (Frank is a former student who was sponsored through medical training by a UK supporter, has recently qualified and is awaiting placement by the government). Those suspected are examined and observed for some time and then we call the Ministry of Health officials if the symptoms become eminent. With the acquisition of the Infra-Red thermometer, learners’ temperatures are being checked every day and so far no Covid-19 case has been recorded.

In conclusion, the teaching staff and learners have now acclimatized to the new normal and doing their best to go by it. We cannot say we are so happy, we are not because we are missing our young learners and concerned they might forget the gains made when they were in school and so we foresee much more work when the time comes for their return. Nevertheless, we are so thankful for all the love and support we continue to receive from FPZ and all the well-wishers even during this world crisis.

I thank you. “