Schools to open in 4 weeks

Back to school scramble as students load their luggage on buses yesterday at the Bulawayo City Hall car park ahead of the 2019 first school term opening today

Government yesterday said it would take up to four weeks to open schools, firstly for examination-writing classes then gradually other classes in a phased approach.

By Harriet Chikandiwa

Speaking before the Priscilla Misihairambwi-Mushonga-led committee on Primary and Secondary Education, permanent secretary in the Ministry of Primary and Secondary Education, Tumisang Thabela, said they needed four weeks more for logistical purposes and planning so that they could be able to open schools in a phased approach.

“We need four weeks for logistical purposes so that we can open schools in phases, firstly considering the examination classes and we will ensure that there is training of school heads and teachers and provision of protective clothing,” she said.

President Emmerson Mnangagwa at the weekend eased the lockdown restrictions and allowed more activities, giving the green light to open schools for examination-writing classes, but did not announce dates.

Thabela said the first phase of opening would be focused mainly on Grade 7, “O” and “A” Level examination-writing students, while others will open on the next phase.

“The last phase will be opened to Grade 1 and 2, we will be looking at social distancing and infrastructure and resources in schools. This will be done after the other phases have been opened, there will be a three-week break between Grade 1 and 2 before we open for ECD (early childhood development),” she said.

“There is need for clean water sources within each school, handwashing detergents, sanitisers especially in urban schools where there are huge numbers of students, reusable masks for leaners, infrared thermometers and gloves for management of any suspected case.”

However, the ministry is worried over schools that have been turned into quarantine centres saying that would affect re-opening of those schools.


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