The Sunday News
Vusumuzi Dube, Senior Reporter
AUTHORITIES at schools and colleges, including parents are expected to meet and come up with plans that will determine when they can resume classes especially for pupils and students sitting for public examinations this year.
The plans, would, however, need to be approved first by the Government through the respective ministries in consultation with the Ministry of Health and Child Care. President Mnangagwa yesterday said public examination classes and final year students at colleges and universities would be allowed to open only after adhering to the stipulated Covid-19 prevention measures.
Clarifying the matter, Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Information, Publicity and Broadcasting Services Mr Nick Mangwana told Sunday News that the directive was not a one-size-fits-all, but individual schools and universities were expected to provide a detailed plan in terms of their strategy of preventing the spread of the Covid-19 pandemic before they are allowed to re-open. He said stakeholders would be required to engage each other in consultation with the Ministry of Health and Child Care to see that they comply with all the necessary Covid-19 requirements.
“There is no one-size-fits-all approach, what needs to happen is that between the school authorities, the school development councils and the ministry officials, they will need to sit down and come out with a framework, an agreed plan on how they want to open. After these stakeholders meet, they then present their plans to the relevant ministries to discuss the plan, if the plan is agreeable, they can then be allowed to open because circumstances that apply to individual institutions are different,” said Mr Mangwana.
He said emphasis was on the need to prevent the spread of the coronavirus and ensure that all institutions put in place measures to protect their students from the pandemic. Meanwhile, Minister of Primary and Secondary Education, Cain Mathema said plans for the sitting of June and November Zimsec examinations were at an advanced stage, noting that the President’s statement reaffirmed their position.
“The President’s address reaffirms our position that we are ready to have the June and November examinations. What will happen now is that we will meet and give the necessary announcement in due course. Schools should, however, ensure that as students sit and prepare for these examinations, they should adhere to the Covid-19 regulations in terms of social distancing and sanitization,” said Minister Mathema.
The Government directed the closure of schools a week before the official closing date for the first term as means of controlling the spread of the pandemic.