CABINET yesterday said schools would reopen in two weeks’ time, with examination levels set to begin on March 15, while the rest of classes will register for class on March 22.
Information minister Monica Mutsvangwa told a post-Cabinet media briefing that in order to avoid crowding and the potential spread of COVID-19 at schools, pupils will be attending classes on a rotational basis to achieve social distancing.
“Cabinet agreed that the school calendar for 2021 starts on a slightly phased approach, with examination classes opening on March 15, and the rest on March 22, 2021. Teachers for examination classes should, therefore, report for duty on March 10, 2021 and the rest of the teachers on March 17,” she said.
There shall be rotational school attendance in classes where learners cannot exercise social distancing. On the days pupils are not at school, learners will be engaged through strategies such as open distance learning and e-learning.”
Mutsvangwa said for purposes of catching up, all continuing classes would start with 2020 work and syllabi, which has since been compressed to facilitate accelerated coverage.
A report last week by the Parliamentary Portfolio Committee on Primary and Secondary Education stated that schools were last opened in September last year, with teachers not reporting for duty citing incapacitation.
The opening of schools without addressing the teachers’ incapacitation is, however, likely to affect pupils as teachers’ organisations vowed that the educators would not report for duty before salaries are increased.
On procurement and rollout of the COVID-19 vaccines, Mutsvangwa said the vaccine rollout was underway, with more vaccines from China, India, Russia and the United Kingdom on the way to Zimbabwe.
She said the country was yet to record any major reaction from the Sinopharm vaccine except one case which manifested as “a minor reaction”.
Mutsvangwa said government had appointed a team of experts to monitor and guide the use of vaccines and provide proper advice going forward.