Govt okays colleges face-to-face learning

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THE government has allowed polytechnics, teachers’ and industrial training colleges to reopen for face-to-face learning as authorities are increasingly becoming confident that they have managed to keep the coronavirus (Covid-19) pandemic under control,” the Daily News reports.
This comes as the government has announced that primary and secondary schools reopen on September 28 for Zimbabwe School Examination Council (ZimSec) examination classes with the examinations starting on December 1.

In a letter addressed to principals of tertiary education institutions and copied to Higher and Tertiary Education minister Amon Murwira, permanent secretary Fanuel Tagwira said all polytechnics, teachers’ and industrial training colleges would reopen on October 5 for the second term which ends on December 11.

“Please be advised that all tertiary education institutions will reopen for face-to-face learning on 5 October 2020. The academic calendar will be as follows: second term from 5 October 2020 to 11 December 2020 and then third term will begin on 4 January 2021 to 26 February 2021.

“In this regard, all principals are advised to adhere to the given guidelines and the standard operating procedures as enshrined in the ministry’s roadmap dated 9 June 2020,” Tagwira said.

Cambridge examination classes started a fortnight earlier than the ZimSec exams.
Schools were closed late in March ahead of the initial 21-day national lockdown, but reopened briefly for June examinations.

Fifteen stakeholders have already made their submissions, with nine others expected to make theirs shortly, on the reopening of all public schools.

Stakeholders that have been consulted include teachers’ unions, the parliamentary portfolio committee on Education, the Association of School Development Committees, the Independent Colleges in Zimbabwe, the

Private Schools Association of Zimbabwe, and the Association of Trust Schools.

The phased reopening, approved by Cabinet on Tuesday, would be done in three stages.
The three examination classes — Grade 7, Form 4 and Upper Six — open on September 28.

Four weeks later, on October 26, next year’s examination classes — Grade 6, Form 3 and Form 5 — open in the second phase and a fortnight after that, on November 9, everyone else goes back to school — ECD A and B, Grades 1 to 5 and Forms 1 and 2.

This comes as the government has set aside a total of $600 million for disbursement to needy schools to improve sanitation and enable them to reopen safely without risking a spike in Covid-19 infections.

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