Via L'Express de Madagascar: Rumor about the plague - High rate of absenteeism in Antananarivo. The edited Google translation:
Uncontrollable. Students in Antananarivo-ville refused to attend their classrooms yesterday, after the general panic engendered by the rumor of plague vaccination in several schools on Thursday. Some returned with their parents, after spending some time in their school yard.
This was the case at the Public Primary School (EPP) in Ankadivato, where some fifteen students took the return journey, hand in hand with their parents. Others have refused to go to school, according to their parents.
"He may be afraid that the scramble of yesterday (note: Thursday) will not happen again," says Alphonsine Ravaonomenjanahary, mother of a student of the College of General Education (CEG) in Anosibe.
Students who were present clearly had their heads elsewhere, sitting on their table-bench. Fear was on their faces. "They need a little more time to forget yesterday's event. It's not the rumor that scares them, but the scuffle scene they've seen," says CEG's director in Anosibe, Hasiniaina Randrianarivo.
Some parents have also decided not to send their children to school, especially those at a young age. The table-benches of several schools, private and public, thus remained empty yesterday. At CEG in Anosibe, 70% of students were absent yesterday morning. At the EPP Anosibe, barely ten students per room were present while the school has a quarantine.
At the Ambohipo EPP, where the door was broken by the parents the day before, the absenteeism rate reached 80%. At EPP Ankadivato, a low attendance rate, 35%, was recorded, despite the calm that prevailed on Thursday.
Private schools have also experienced this high rate of absenteeism. Some even decided to close yesterday. This is the case, for example, of one school in Anosibe and another in Tsiadana.
In other schools outside the city, absenteeism has also been gaining ground since the rumor spread at the beginning of the week.
Apparently, the rumor continues to shake some parents. "Can you tell us what is true in this vaccination story? We fear for the lives of our children," said a father, during the meeting of parents of CEG Anosibe. He was highly applauded by the audience, who surely had the same concern.
"First, there is no vaccine against the plague. Then, as we have always done before, we must have your written agreement, before we can do anything to your child," the director of this institution replies to his listeners, to reassure them.
Dr. Todisoa Andriamampandry, Director General of Basic Education and Literacy at the Ministry of National Education, calls for mutual trust between parents and educators, including teachers, school directors, and teachers.