Zimbabwe: Schools Gear Up for Phased Reopening

Empty class (file photo).

Schools are now producing personal protective equipment as they gear up for the phased reopening which requires several steps to ensure pupils and teachers are safe when lessons resume.

Speaking during the launch of Harare Metropolitan Province Chapter of the Covid-19 Schools Response Plan in Harare yesterday, Primary and Secondary Minister Ambassador Cain Mathema said he was heartened by the way schools have come out to complement Government efforts to curb the spread of the coronavirus.

Ambassador Mathema said schools will be open after the Government is satisfied with the progress made in combating the spread of the pandemic.

The schools response programme, which was launched in all ten provinces, has seen several schools now producing hand sanitizers, face masks, overalls and other needs with other schools gearing up to do the same.

"I want to register my profound gratitude as the schools try to find their role in the fight against the pandemic by producing personal protective equipment," said Ambassador Mathema.

"All of us who are threatened by this virus are our children and learners, non-teaching staff and our teachers. We have 4,6 million learners, 13 6000 teachers, 9 625 schools so the sector can make an immense contribution to the protection and safety of learners, teachers and non-teaching staff. By the way here we are talking of learners in schools both public and independent schools, all schools," he said.

"The opening of schools will be determined by the progress made by the Government in combating the spread of Covid-19."

"Opening of schools will be in 5 phases which are phase 1,2,3,4 and 5 starting with exam classes of 2020, exam classes of 2021 (grade 6, forms 3 and 5), grade 3,4 and 5 as well as forms 1 and 2, then grades 1 and 2 and finally Early Childhood Development Classes A and B," said Ambassador Mathema.

The Minister said urged all citizens to play their part in the fight against this pandemic.

He advised independent schools to cultivate good relations with their parent ministry in the wake of the pandemic and approach the Permanent Secretary Mrs Tumisang Thabela, adding the ministry cannot have an independent school or college which can operate alone.

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