June 22, 2021

Zimbabwe Schools Opening Dilemma

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Mirirai Nsingo

Zimbabwe is experiencing a dilemma on whether or not to open schools as it battles a wave of new Covid-19 infections.

Teachers recommend postponing the opening of schools until the winter season is over.

“Covid-19 cases are on the rise and it is not safe to open schools this winter. We have recommended that schools be closed till mid-August while learning continues through online platforms.

“So if schools open in August, the term should stretch till November,” Progressive Teachers Union of Zimbabwe (PTUZ) president Dr Takavafira Zhou told ZTN.

The country has recorded a total of 3 234 new infections and 89 deaths over the past 21 days, and with schools set to open next week, concern has been raised over the safety of both learners and teachers.

On Monday the National Covid-19 taskforce met to deliberate on the opening of schools, before making recommendations to cabinet.

The Zimbabwe Teacher’s Association [ZIMTA] Secretary General Goodwill Taderera reiterated that the opening of schools in the wake of a surge in cases would be problematic.

“There is need to contain Covid-19 first before schools open. At the moment there is a surge in cases, people are dying and we must contain Covid-19 before teachers and pupils can go back to schools,” Taderera said.

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