May 18, 2020

Schools opening schedule expected Wednesday

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Takudzwa Chihambakwe

Zimbabwe’s minister of Primary and Secondary Education Cain Mathema is expected to unpack how schools will re-open in the face of Covid-19 when he appears before Parliament on Wednesday.

“The issue of schools opening (program) will be revealed on Wednesday when the Minister will be in here,” the director of curriculum development and technical devices John Dewah told Parly on Monday.

 “The preparations that we are making ahead of the opening of schools will also be provided on Wednesday,” he added.

Mathema has already hinted that schools opening will be staggered with exam classed getting first preference.

“Schools will be opened in a staggered way like what other countries all over the world are doing. We will start with examination and finally early childhood development students because those are difficult to control,” he said.

The developments come at a time when most parents and pupils are cracking heads over how to best access online classes.

A survey carried out by ZTN shows that since the inception of the lockdown on March 30 that majority of students attending public schools have not been able to consistently access online learning material.

However, those from private schools have been continuing with lessons as they can afford the required gadgets as well as paying the high costs being charged by internet service providers.

To this effect, Zimbabwe School Examinations Council (Zimsec) director, Dr Lazarus Nembaware fears that some students scheduled to sit for exams in November will be affected by this lack of connectivity.

 “Indeed some of the exam students will be affected as they have no internet connections. They are busy playing now whilst others are learning,” he said adding that Zimsec is ready to run exams this year.

 “We as Zimsec prepare the product and wait for the stakeholder (Ministry of Education) to tell us when their students are ready to sit for the exam. Like we did for the June examinations, we prepared and waited for the stakeholder to say we are ready for your product.

“As far as Zimsec is concerned we will put into motion the wheels of preparing the November examinations and then wait for the Ministry of Primary and Secondary Education to give us dates when their students will be ready.”

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