(Last Updated on November 28, 2020 by Editor)
ZIMBABWE – Government has remained steadfast that schools and higher learning institutions will remain open despite the increasing case of Covid-19 among students.
Since last week Zimbabwe has been recording a high number of positive cases at learning institutions with schools such as John Tallach in Matabeleland South now standing at 189, while in Mashonaland west cases at Chinhoyi High have gone up to 57.
Matopo High School in Matebeleland has 10 positive cases. Tertiary institutions like Chinhoyi University of Technology and Midlands State University have also confirmed cases.
Progressive Teachers Union of Zimbabwe President, Takavafira Zhou has said the government must listen to professional advice before making decisions.
“Government must learn to listen to professional advice rather than operate through hap- hazardous muddling and meddling through. When we pointed out that schools were ill-prepared to abate covid 19 pandemic, as a professional group of teachers, we were labelled agents of regime change. It is now crystal clear that whatever Minister Matema and perm secretary Thabela saw as semblance of preparation was nothing other than a tissue of misrepresentation,” he said in a statement.
“The bottom line is that the more than $600 million meant to procure and supply schools with covid abatement equipment never filtered to schools. More than 80% of schools do not have constant supply of water, thermometers, sanitisers, masks etc. Not even a single school has testing kits while social distance has remained a luxury than a pre-requisite, more so in light of bloated classes, infrastructural restrictions, and failure to recruit 50 000 additional teachers needed to guarantee appropriate teacher: pupil ratio” Zhou added.
PTUZ has said as of now the result of opening schools while ill prepared to deal with the pandemic has exposed learners.
“The results are terrible, viz,
-more than 184 cases of covid 19 at John Tallach in Matabeleland North
-more than 57 cases at Chinhoyi High, Mashonaland West
-more than 20 cases at All Souls Mission, Mutoko, Mashonaland East
-19 cases at Anderson Adventist High, Gweru, Midlands
- more than 10 cases at Matopo High, Matabeleland South
-reported cases at Emakhadeni Primary, Bulawayo
-3 reported cases Rujeko Primary, Masvingo
-Reported cases, Prince Edward, Harare
-Reported case, David Livingstone, Harare
-reported case, Avocar Primary, Bindura
-confirmed cases of ten teachers, 23 pupils, Bindura Urban Schools
-reported cases, plumtree schools, Mat South.
-Many other teachers and students are positive but have not yet been tested or are waiting for confirmation of results. It is dangerous for government to claim that the cases are minimal when it has no capacity to test all teachers, students and ancillary staff in schools.”
Government insist learning must continue in schools and that examinations will proceed as planned.