Primary and secondary school students in their final year started returning to class on Monday in Cameroon after schools were suspended since March 18 due to the outbreak of coronavirus.
The country’s Minister of Secondary Education, Pauline Nalova Lyonga, said the move to progressively reopen schools will help children catch up on missed lessons and assist parents gradually returning to work.
Temperature checks, mask-wearing, customized school buses, designated routes to classrooms to prevent the gathering of crowds, the first school day back seemed special and safe for the students and pupils.
Among the schools reopening on Monday was Government Bilingual High School Deido, in the commercial capital, Douala, which had over 100 students in attendance.
Chanceline Olinga, 42, was in a socially distanced queue of parents as she dropped off her fourteen-year-old daughter Neola at the school gates.
Cameroon has recorded a rise in new coronavirus cases after reopening schools on 1 June.
The country reported 254 new cases on Monday and 188 new cases on Tuesday.
The government said it had put safety measures to protect learners that included cleaning of classrooms and distribution of sanitisers and face masks.
Final year students and university students who resumed studies were sitting metres apart.
Education officials had threatened teachers who failed to report back to school after some of them expressed concern about the rising coronavirus cases, according to Journal Du Cameroun news website.