Should schools be re-opened?
SHINGAI MOYO – MOST, if not all, Covid-19 cases in Zimbabwe were traced to contact with people who had travelled outside the country to places such as China, the United Kingdom and the United Arab Emirates.
The country has since put in place measures for compulsory quarantine for all arrivals whilst dealing with the internal cases, which now calls for the government to consider the re-opening of schools.
The virus is likely to be with us for the foreseeable future until a vaccine is found, hence for now, we just need to find ways to ensure that life goes on.
After all, we are now living with HIV-Aids and yet when it started, we thought that was going to be the end of the world.
Developed economies have been able to do remote learning because they have the necessary resources and data costs in those countries are affordable.
In our case, we cannot continue to have schools closed beyond this point as children are losing valuable learning time.
When Covid-19 started, a significant number of people temporarily relocated to the rural areas which, up to now, have largely remained safe despite the two incidents in Mhondoro and Murewa.
So why should pupils in rural areas be disadvantaged?
I, therefore, argue that rural schools should open to allow learners to proceed with their education.
Certain conditions should, however, be put in place for this to happen.
For example, no transfers from urban areas should be accepted until end of year.
Sports should also be suspended due to its contact nature.
Schools may also end at 11am so that pupils break and go home with no need for break time.
There is no or very little risk of the virus in rural areas.
Besides, people in rural areas have been living their normal lives even after the outbreak of the pandemic.