‘Learners must not be  complacent during Xmas’

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PRIMARY and Secondary Education minister Cain Mathema hopes all learners will exercise extreme caution and guard against Covid-19 when they interact with family and colleagues in communities during this festive season.

Before schools closed down on Friday for the festive holidays, learning institutions had become the epicentre of the pandemic.

At least 35 schools were quarantined after they had been hit by the virus with at least 332 learners testing positive.

The hardest hit institutions were John Tallach Secondary in Matabeleland North and Chinhoyi High in Mashonaland West.

Mathema said he was happy that his ministry in partnership with the heads of schools, their ancillary staff and partners, managed to ride the Covid-19 wave in ensuring continued and public examinations went ahead despite the challenges.

“I am pleased about these several milestones our ministry, in collaboration with sister ministries and our partners and stakeholders, has achieved to overcome challenges that beset us, ranging from Covid-19 infections in some schools, challenges to do with PPE to issues around the conditions of service of teachers.

“Indeed, your cooperation with the ministry has made these recent months of our association a source of great satisfaction and encouragement to me in this important period of our country’s educational development.

“In offering my appreciation and best greetings for Christmas and the New Year, I look forward to continuing mutual cooperation in 2021.

“I also want to remind our learners that as they go into their communities, they should be vigilant to stay safe and prevent infection from Covid-19 as the school opening day on January 4, 2021 beckons,” Mathema said.

The authorities hope when schools reopen next month, they will be able to cover a lot of ground after having closed down from March this year until September during the nationwide lockdown.

“I hope together we can continue providing quality, relevant, equitable, inclusive and wholesome education for all Zimbabweans, carrying out innovative alternative teaching and learning strategies, catch-up learning and teaching programmes to cover lost learning and teaching time during the lockdown and the establishment of an alternative schooling timetable to cater for infrastructure deficiencies in order to effect social distancing for the prevention and management of Covid-19,” Mathema said.

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