The government has said that schools will only reopen once it’s safe to do so even if it means not reopening this year. This sudden reversal in attitude has been brought about by the spike in local Covid-19 cases with recorded cases now well over 1 000 and deaths totalling 20 at the time of writing. The government’s decision to postpone the reopening of schools is in line with what other education sector stakeholders have been demanding.

There is anxiety among parents and learners; they are not sure if the deferment is temporary or will cover the rest of the year. Government must be clear on whether or not they intend to reopen schools this year.

As a committee, we are suggesting that we reopen when it is perfectly safe to do so and it does not appear like that is possible this year.

Primary and Secondary Education Parliamentary Portfolio Committee chair Ms Priscilla Misihairabwi-Mushonga

While the Herald makes it sound like it was the government’s idea all along- it wasn’t. Up until a week ago, the government was pushing hard for schools to reopen after cajoling and ordering schools to conduct June 2020 exams. They had also shockingly burdened headmasters with the task of ensuring the safety of students in schools without providing materials to ensure this would happen. Most schools struggle to fund essentials such as books, there was doubt they would be able to buy protective equipment and other materials to fight Covid-19.

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