Following the indefinite postponement of the reopening of schools for the second term, a Cabinet Minister has said there is a need to realign the school calendar to suit the current situation.
Schools were initially scheduled to reopen on 28 June but the date was put forward by two weeks as coronavirus infections spiked across the country.
Then on Tuesday, the government announced that schools will remain closed for another two weeks as a result of the surging COVID-19 cases and deaths.
In a wide-ranging interview with The Manica Post on the sidelines of the Vision of Primary and Secondary Education (VOPSE) launch at Mt Melleray Primary School in Nyanga on Monday, Primary and Secondary Education Minister, Cain Mathema said:
Let us have an open mindset. Nobody knows when this pandemic will end. We have to find solutions and find ways of living with this pandemic while making sure that we protect our kids, our teachers and the nation at large.
In the 1980s,l remember people were scared to interact with HIV positive people. The public thought that HIV was capable of flying in the air and infecting them. However, with the passage of time, we learnt to live with HIV and Aids.
This is the same thing going on. It has to start in the home. Parents should make sure no child leaves the home without a mask.
The truth is that we do not know when this pandemic will come to an end. We, therefore, cannot have a situation where our children do not go to school forever.
Mathema said while they would want classes to resume, his Ministry does not operate in a vacuum. He said:
However, the Ministry of Primary and Secondary Education does not operate in a vacuum.
We give our input and other line ministries such as the Ministry of Health and Child Care also chip in with theirs to come up with the best position for the country.
This year schools opened for the first term on 15 March instead of the second week of January as is the norm because of the second wave of COVID-19.
As the third wave of COVID-19 rages on, with new infections and deaths rising, schools may not be reopening any time soon.