Teachers, Government In Rare Consensus Over Schools’ Opening

Main Story Zimbabwe

ZTN Correspondent

Teachers Unions and parents have welcomed government’s move to defer the opening of schools in light of spiking Covid-19 cases.

Schools were scheduled to open for the second term on 28 July, but with the recent rapid increase in Covid-19 cases, government has put the plans on hold.

Teachers unions who have been pushing for the deferment of schools opening say they feel vindicated, now that the government has conceded to their appeals.

Progressive Teachers Union of Zimbabwe President, Dr Takavafira Zhou, said schools should only be opened when the safety of educators and learners is guaranteed.

He said, “the opening of schools is determined by a number of variants. The first is that we must be able to procure and to place in schools testing kits, thermometers, sanitisers and other PPE’s.

“Students, teachers and auxiliary staff must be tested first before opening,” said Zhou.

Chairperson of the Parliamentary Portfolio Committee on Education, Priscilla Misihairabwi-Mushonga in an interview with ZTN News, hailed the decision.

“It is the right call we welcome it. we are just disappointed it has taken this long to get to what we said from the beginning, we are not ready and it is not the right time given the winter period.

We are happy but we are disappointed that we seem to be working around a crisis management instead of understanding that this is a disease that is not going to go away next week or next month and plan properly around it,” added Misihairabwi-Mushonga.

Some parents with school going children in Zimbabwe are happy to have their children at home much longer, after government deferred the opening of schools.

A parent who spoke to ZTN News on the condition of anonymity said “the number of corona virus cases is continuously rising and if schools open the situation will only worsen, schools must remain closed until the government puts in place measures to contain the virus.”