By Trevor Makonyonga
The Zimbabwe government has rescheduled the opening of schools citing the increasing of COVID 19 cases as the reason for the changes in the school calendar.
In a statement, Primary and Secondary Education secretary Mrs Tumisang Thabela said government had seen it fit to deviate from the previously announced 2021 school calendar.
The permanent secratary indicated that the increase in COVID-19 infections and the threat posed by Cyclone Chalane were the reasons for this decision.
Thabela said, “The Ministry of Primary and Secondary Education would like to advice its valued learners, parents, guardians and other stakeholders that in light of the surge in Covid-19 infections and the new and more contagious variants of the disease as well as well as the threat posed by Cyclone Chalane, Government has seen it fit to deviate from the previously announced 2021 School Calendar that directed schools to open on January 2021.
“In this regard, please be advised that 2020 Zimbabwe School Examination Council Ordinary level examinations will resume on 5 January 2021 to 5 February as previously announced,” said Thabela.
“Having deferred the reopening of schools beyond 4 January 2021, the dates for the commencement of the 2021 school calendar for all primary and secondary schools will be announced in due course as government monitors the situation.”
Thabela urged learners, parents and guardians to reinforce wearing of masks, physical distancing as well as handwashing to prevent the spread and infection of COVID-19.
She said heads of schools should continue with preparations for the safe opening of learning spaces and the accelerated implementation of teaching and learning activities.
The country has recorded 359 deaths since the virus was recorded in March this year while at least 13 325 people have contracted the disease with 11 067 recoveries.