The Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Primary and Secondary Education, Tumisang Tabela has announced dates for the June 2020 exams which she said will start on 22 June to the 22nd of July under strict guidelines from the Ministry of Health and Child Care.
Appearing before the parliamentary committee on education, Tabela noted that there were a number of issues to be considered before schools can re-open.
She said schools need to be disinfected while more furniture is required for social distancing with each school expected to have an infrared thermometer for testing purposes. Mrs Tabela added that an announcement will be made on how the June examinations will proceed. She also emphasised the importance of teacher capacitation given the new demands in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic.
On opening of schools, Tabela said they need at least four weeks to put logistics in place adding that the opening will be in phases.
"The first phase will be the examination class for 2020 which include Grade 7, O level and A level. Second phase will include class that will take examinations in 2021 these include the current grade 6, form 3 and lower 6. Third phase will see the joining in of grade 3, 4, 5 in primary Form 1,2 in secondary. Phase 3 shows that secondary schools will be open but we will be using tents and mobile class. Phase 4 will see the coming in of grade 1,2 and ECD that will come 3 weeks after phase 3," said Tabela.
She added that for schools to open clean water sources are needed.
"We need 10 000 infrared thermometers, one per school, gloves will used for handling suspected cases," added Tabela.
Schools closed early in March after Zimbabwe its first COVID-19 confirmed case.
In his state of the nation address last week, President Emmerson Mnangagwa announced that examination classes should resume while they continue to monitor progress in efforts to combat the spread of the deadly pandemic.