MORE than five thousand students have not reported back to schools in Pemba Island after the government eased coronavirus restrictions, authorities have said.
Both Zanzibar and the Union governments eased coronavirus restrictions in June this year, by reopening schools, and business centres, concerns have emerged over why many nursery and primary school children are still out of schools and parents remain reluctant to send their children back to school.
Tourist hotels, bars, and restaurants were also re-opened, but the impact of coronavirus in Zanzibar was not as big compared to other countries in the region, where the virus has infected hundreds of people with many deaths.
Despite success in combating Covid-19, the government through its Health Ministry is still encouraging observing health precautions.
Parents’ failure to encourage their children back to schools has been cited as the cause of continuing absenteeism, and schools parents committees are being asked to help push parents to ensure all children are back to school.
“Schools committees have a role to play in ensuring good school attendance,” said Mr Amiri Mdowe- Coordinator in the Ministry for Regional Administration and Local government as his colleague from the ministry Dr Khalid Abdalla Omar called on parents to do more in encouraging children to remain in school.
Continued absenteeism has prompted the ministry to work with U NICEF to campaign for the return of children to schools amid reports that parents also took coronavirus restrictions as an advantage to keep their children at home to engage in domestic work.