BY MIRIAM MANGWAYA
The Ministry of Primary and Secondary Education has released this year’s school calendar giving pupils 45 days of learning during the first term.
Government last week announced that schools will open on February 7 after the reopening had been indefinitely postponed early January this year due to COVID -19 restrictions.
According to the calendar, schools close on April 5, 2022, for the first term.
The second term begins on May 3, and ends on August 4 with 69 school days.
The third term begins on September 5 and ends on December 3, after 71 school days.
Following the announcement by the Govt that schls can open from 7th of Feb, @MoPSEZim has released the new schl calendar as follows:
Term 1 07/02/2022- 07/04/2022
Term 2 03/05/2022- 04/08/2022
Term 3 05/09/2022- 08/12/2022 @UNICEFZIMBABWE @StarfmZimbabwe @ProgressiveOf @zimta01 pic.twitter.com/Ny2e7xKTeZ
— Ministry of P&S EdZW (@MoPSEZim) February 1, 2022
Primary and Secondary Education ministry spokesperson Taungana Ndoro said the school calendar was designed to ensure that pupils catch up with the syllabi after disruption due to COVID-19 lockdowns.
“Learners need adequate time to learn and catch up with their syllabi as school reopening had been postponed owing to the COVID-19 pandemic,” Ndoro said.
“The calendar therefore ensures that pupils have enough time to study so that they will be ready for their examinations by year end.”
The reopening of schools comes at a time teachers have threatened to down tools in protest of government’s failure to address their concerns.
Teachers are demanding that government revert to the pre-October 2018 salaries of between US$520- US$540.
Progressive Teachers Union of Zimbabwe said on Twitter, “Know ye all that whereas The Ministry of Primary and Secondary education has produced a revised calendar, the number of learning days per term will not be decided by the calendar, but by Public Service Commission of Zimbabwe and the Treasury’s seriousness in dealing with the issue of teacher remuneration. $540 or no learning.”
Know ye all that whereas @MoPSEZim has produced a revised calendar, the number of learning days per term will not be decided by the calendar, but by @psczimbabwe and @ZimTreasury 's seriousness in dealing with the issue of teacher remuneration. $540 or no learning @RMajongwe pic.twitter.com/QmmkuFiwau
— PTUZ_Official (@ProgressiveOf) February 1, 2022
Educators’ Union of Zimbabwe secretary-general Tapedza Zhou said: “Educators’ Union of Zimbabwe is greatly concerned with the government announcement that schools shall open on 07 February 2022 without undertaking any serious mitigatory measures to ensure that the financial welfare of teachers is catered for. We are equally dismayed that our request for the restoration of US$540 as our monthly salary has never been taken seriously by our employer, and the promise to do so by June 2021 has remained a white elephant. Teachers are still incapacitated and shall not report for duty as expected by the employer Incapacitation is not our own making, but the making of the employer.”
But Ndoro said government was not fazed by the teachers’ threats as it has always been the “trend”.
“We are very confident that teachers will be in schools on Monday,” Ndoro said.
“We always expect the mantra of teachers threatening to boycott classes. But there are some teachers who are very noble, who joined the profession because of calling. These will be on duty. What is very unfortunate is that some of the teachers’ unions’ leaders are not active teachers and will be out of touch with what will be happening in classes.”