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Govt fights for safe schooling

Mugove Tafirenyika

CHIEF WRITER

tafirenyikam@dailynews.co.zw

AS schools prepare to reopen for face-to-face classes, authorities say the government will do its best to provide a safe learning environment for both learners and educators.

This comes as authorities have announced the dates for schools to reopen, with those sitting for national examinations returning to school on March 15 and the rest a week later.

Communications director for the ministry of Primary and Secondary Education, Taungana Ndoro, told the Daily News yesterday that the government would do everything in its power to ensure that schools reopened safely.

“We are happy that only 500 learners were infected last year and that all of them recovered fully.

“It is our hope that with the progress that most schools have made so far, we will reduce the number of infections at all our institutions, if not bring the number down to zero.

“While we cannot say authoritatively that teachers will have been vaccinated by the time schools open, because this is up to the Health ministry, we are hopeful that all that is necessary for safe learning will be in place,” Ndoro told the Daily News.

“We have gone around schools throughout the country, with a special interest in boarding schools and the progress made in terms of ensuring that infrastructure that ensures social distancing and other necessities is in place,” he added.

Ndoro also said the government would announce in due course the dates for the closing of schools, a decision that would be dependent on how the country was managing the spread of Covid-19.

“We are taking a cautious approach. So, we cannot come with definitive dates yet.

“Last year we were forced to adjust the calendar several times after the situation on the ground dictated that it was not safe to open schools.

“All we can say is that when we open it will be the first term,” Ndoro further told the Daily News.

This comes after schools and tertiary institutions were closed for the better part of 2020 due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

The 2021 academic year was supposed to begin in the first week of January, but was suspended as the virulent respiratory disease killed and infected even more people in the country.

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