There has been a surge in the number of local COVID-19 infections in Zimbabwe that has everyone concerned. Schools were supposed to reopen today (5 January) for this year’s first term. That is not happening anymore as the government has decided to postpone the reopening of schools. Teachers want the government to do more than this though. They want the entire first-term to be curtailed and for schools to only reopen in the second term.
They have good reasons for this. You see most of the students who were in last year’s completing classes haven’t completed writing their examinations yet. Examinations are set to end as late as mid-February. This means that there would now be two Form 6 classes one writing and one learning, There would also be similarly two Form Four classes. This would not be an issue as there would be no Form Ones and Fives but Form Ones were slotted to return in February which would have led to possible overcrowding especially in boarding schools.
We wrote to the Government as PTUZ on December 15 last year with a plea to them to consider opening schools for Second Term so that we completely cancel the First Term.
This will give us enough time to prepare in terms of infrastructure and financial resources.
We have students that are still sitting for their examinations and we anticipate the whole process of marking and publishing the results will take the whole of this year.
Schools were instructed to come up with alternative spaces but most especially those in the rural areas do not have the capacity.
Government can assist by building prefabs in such schools and this needs planning.PTUZ President Takavafira Zhou