There has been panic and frantic desperation in Zimbabwe’s capital as a number of prominent people and those connected to prominent people succumbed to COVID-19 related illnesses over the past few days. Over the past few weeks the number of COVI-19 cases in the country has risen and COVID-19 related deaths which had become rare became a thing again.

In a desperate bid to stem the tide, the government has implemented another hard lockdown that will only see entities that provide essential services operating. Schools which were set to open today will remain closed as the government has postponed the reopening of schools indefinitely. However, Ordinary Level and Advanced Level examination classes will return to school as they are supposed to resume writing their examinations tomorrow (5 January).

The whole logic behind the deferment of schools opening was to decongest classrooms and to give school heads time to come up with alternative infrastructure.

It was impossible to have two classes of the same form but different years at the same school at the same time, for instance, it was impossible to have this year’s Form Fours together with last year’s Form Fours at the same time.

When we opened under Phase one, these were the examination classes, we managed to contain the situation. However, the problem started when the other phases started coming back to school.

And most of the affected were boarding schools so we want to ensure that there is decongestion in schools.

…We need to decongest the classes and have additional infrastructure so schools have been instructed to use every space available, be it basketball or tennis courts and be turned into classrooms and halls can be used as dormitories wherever possible.

Ministry of Primary and Secondary Education, Communications and Advocacy Director, Taungana Ndoro

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