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Monday, 16 March 2020

COVID-19 school response

I know that many of you will be concerned at the spread of COVID-19 and interested to know what steps International School will be taking to deal with the threat posed by this virus. As of today, there are no confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Zambia. However, schools are obvious locations that may facilitate the spread of infectious diseases and, after the holiday, people may be returning from locations affected by COVID-19 which makes this a legitimate concern. At this time we will be continuing with normal classes at school and will inform the association of any change to this.

Please read below for specific actions to be taken connected with COVID-19.

Outside School

International School is not in a position to impose travel or other restrictions except as directed by the Government of the Republic of Zambia. We are in regular contact with the Ministry of health and adhere to the guidance we receive from them. We do however request that parents and teachers keep themselves and their children out of school if any of the following conditions are met:
  • You show any symptoms of COVID-19 (fever or cough).
  • You have travelled to an area where COVID-19 is known to be prevalent.
  • You have been in close contact with people who have travelled to such an area.

Student absences during this time will be recorded as excused and will not count against required totals for evaluation purposes.

If in doubt please err on the side of caution and stay out of school. You may contact our nurse, Edith Lemba, at elemba@islzambia.org for individual advice.

Inside School

We will be taking the following steps at school:
  • Continuing to provide hand sanitizer and redoubling our efforts to have people wash their hands frequently.
  • Updating our janitorial protocols to ensure that high-contact surfaces are cleaned regularly with disinfectant.
  • Cancelling assemblies and other events where large numbers of people gather.
  • Refreshing our posted signs encouraging good hand and respiratory hygiene practices and orientating teachers on how to promote this in the next day or two.

Although our current aim is to continue with normal lessons at school, we will be assembling a task-force to begin preparation for distance learning should this become necessary. We will also be looking at ways to promote social distancing to limit close contact and retard the spread of infectious disease.

Examination Classes

We know that parents and students in Year 11 and Year 13 may be concerned about potential disruption to IGCSE and IB examinations in the next few months. As of now, these examinations will be proceeding as normal. Our coordinators will be in contact regularly with examination boards for any updates.

More Information

New: Click here for a list of countries most affected by COVID-19.

I am grateful for the information provided in the document Key Messages and Actions for COVID-19 Prevention and Control in Schools which you may find to be a useful source of additional information. We will issue updates as we recieve guidance from the board of governors.

I also really liked this straightforward poster from South African Airports:


  1. In the event that we have a repeat situation with regards to the Cholera outbreak and a lock down is advised similarly to other countries. Whilst examinations may carry on in later dates, students still need to be able to receive tutoring in whatever event may be imposed.
    Has the school prepared for video lessons with teaching staff?
    Have the student and teachers simulated this interaction?

    I would appreciate a more active approach in the task force in testing the distance learning and trouble shooting where required.


  2. Its better to educate all the staff & the students about the same in the coming week through video sessions. This will help the children to learn the DOs & DONTs.