Preparations continue for the “inevitable re-opening” of schools with Covid-19 control measures. These are informed by World Health Organization (WHO) guidelines. They being put in place to avoid a spike in infections when classes resume. School health coordinators are also being trained.
Speaking at a post-Cabinet media briefing in Harare yesterday, Information, Publicity and Broadcasting Services Minister Monica Mutsvangwa said there was collaboration between the Ministry of Primary and Secondary Education and the Ministry of Health and Child Care to set the stage for the classes’ resumption.
“Regarding primary and secondary education, the responsible ministry continues to work with the Ministry of Health and Child Care. They are to prepare for the inevitable re-opening of schools.
“Meanwhile, the training of school health coordinators and the assessment of the schools’ preparations for the resumption of learning is ongoing. Government is doing its best to ensure that adequate precautionary measures are taken before schools are opened,” said Minister Mutsvangwa.
Last year a raft of measures were implemented to ensure a safe learning environment, including the recruitment of more teachers to ensure classes were smaller in line with social distancing rules.
Sanitation in schools was also improved to enable exams to be written in a safer environment with Government spending $600 million on needy schools.
Under the national vaccination programme, a large part of the second phase is concentrated on lecturers and teachers. They will be vaccinated after the frontline staff, elderly and those with chronic complaints are done.
Minister Mutsvangwa announced that the Russian Federation has promised to donate vaccines. Together with China whose donated Sinopharm vaccine is already being administered to frontline health workers. India also whose gift was confirmed by President Mnangagwa last week.
Given the risk the media is exposed to in line of duty, Cabinet also approved that journalists be vaccinated. They are prioritised in the immunisation programme under the first phase of inoculation.