Thousands of children in face masks resumed school in Ivory Coast on Monday after a two-month lockdown.
The francophone country becomes the first in navigating a post-pandemic route to reopening schools in Sub-sahara Africa.
In an act of resilience amid dozens of virus cases reported daily (ivory coast has recorded 2376 confirmed cases of COVID19) authorities are resolute to go back to normal and have expressed confidence in hygiene measures which have been heightened to mitigate an outbreak as pupils congregate in schools.
In Abidjan’s Adjame neighborhood, children in backpacks queued to wash their hands under a teacher’s watchful eye before entering their school, where they sat just one to a desk with bottles of sanitizing gel within reach.
At first we were a little scared. When we saw that the protective measures were being respected, the fear went away.
“At first we were a little scared. When we saw that the protective measures were being respected, the fear went away,” said 14-year-old Samira Cisse.
What makes this right?
Authorities are worried about the consequence of congregating but setbacks in distance learning have spurred decisions to get the kids back into schools again.
“We also have an imperative duty to ensure that the children entrusted to us can complete their education,” said ministry official Assoumou Kabran.
The authorities are confident that guidelines put in place to safeguard the health of the kids will reduce the risk of an outbreak.
The Ivorian education ministry has factored in contingencies as it may appear but been resolute in the face of impending danger remains a question of faith.
It is expected that various African nations will follow suit in the coming weeks.