Bordered and protected within their own community, Rastafarian instructors who teach at the Nyabinghi Theocracy Church School are building internal defences against Covid-19 like every other institution.
Teacher Wazara Mark said, “We’ve been in and out of meetings, face-to-face meetings and also online, doing Google Classroom, [and] training so that we can have work online as well, because not everybody lives in the community per se.”
There is one family who lives outside of the community but have their children attend the Rastafarian school.
Ministry of Health officials, she said, have visited the school which is expected to begin classes in the third week of September.
For the remainder of this week and next week, the teachers will be cleaning and sanitising the school in preparation for the children’s return.
“We had the hand sanitisers put in place last week, so we are cleaning this week and finishing by about early next week.
“I have been making masks. I just made a couple of masks for children going back to school this year,” Mark said.
The teacher told Observer that the students know about the virus but because of how secluded they are from the wider population “it’s business as usual”.
Classes ended prematurely for the Rastafarians in March, two weeks after the nationwide lockdown was instituted.
“We remained open for two weeks after, but because of the strictness with the curfew we didn’t want to be gathering, although we are at home and our situation is a bit different,” Mark explained.
Like many other children, the Nyabinghi students were happy for their early summer vacation and took the opportunity to enjoy more of nature. Mark explained that children would be out all day picking fruits from the community farm and having fun.
“We just took the time to do a lot of other things since we have the farm,” she shared.
Once the school is cleared by health officials to open, the Nyabinghi Theocracy Church School will continue its state-led curriculum which includes Bible studies and African history.