After closing all schools in March due to COVID-19, the Government of Rwanda announced that they would reopen in September 2020, but no one was sure really whether schools will ever reopen or not. We waited and waited every other time a cabinet meeting was held. We always kept the hopes high for reopening the schools but uncertainty always played the protagonist. We could never pin down a specific day of school reopening.

On Saturday, September 26, 2020, in a program on Rwanda Television, Valentine Uwamariya, Hon. Minister of Education remarked that the school reopening is expected to start gradually from October till November 2020 amid the Covid-19 pandemic. The uncertainty vanished as this was true hope for children getting back into schools.

At the International Technical School Kigali (ITSK), as management waited for the exact date as well as for instructions and guidelines for reopening to be issued, the school kept doing its best to prepare for the D-day. From the break of the news to date, ITSK is proud to be smartly ready for the reopening.

“The time to start planning for school reopening is now; a lot has been done, but the health, safety and overall well-being of students, teachers and the entire school community is our central concern,” says SEBANANI Jules, headmaster at the (ITSK).

Teachers arrive for preparations

On 12th October 2020, all teachers at ITS K had arrived to initiate the preparation for the long-awaited school reopening. They are all busy setting new schemes of work, lesson plans, the general annual timetable, researching on the previous years, and planning new learning units and techniques, and paving ways to cope with the Covid-19 preventive measures in classrooms.

“Here at ITSK, we are very much certain that it is not going to be so easy, as systems seem to be rather different from what we are used to but we are very sure to be ready to receive students on Thursday 22nd October 2020. It is ‘a tough time’ he adds, which requires the preparedness of the entire school administration, from infrastructure and pedagogical process to teaching staff, students and parents.

ITSK has been selected and given responsibility to prepare annual Schemes of Work for Tourism levels 3 & 4, culinary arts level 5 and Networking level 4 to be followed by all schools of Gasabo district. This is now in process and the exercise is ongoing.”

Complying with measures to prevent Covid-19

Strategies have been set to ensure that the Covid-19 preventive measures are well implemented with handwashing facilities for students and all people within the school community. Wearing a mask will be a must for every student and staff and physical social distancing will be practiced acutely.

“For more information read through our Back to School Safety Strategy amidst COVID 19” on the school website, Sebanani says.

Covid-19 continues to take toll on lives. It would be poignant if such awful reality continues. At ITSK emphasizing the need to prevent the spread of Covid-19 into our schools is central.