Colleges resume classes

Source: Colleges resume classes | The Sunday Mail

Colleges resume classes

Sunday Mail Reporter

FINAL year students at polytechnics and vocational training centres resume studies tomorrow, with the Government satisfied with measures put in place to prevent the spread of coronavirus.

Studies were discontinued on March 24 as a pre-emptive intervention to prevent infections.

The Government turned most of the learning institutions into quarantine centres for locals returning from other countries. Authorities have since fumigated the centres.

Higher and Tertiary Education, Innovation, Science and Technology Development Minister Professor Amon Murwira said all preparatory work was now complete.

“We are satisfied with the preparations made by various institutions so far. We met with them and on Monday (tomorrow) colleges will open,” he said.

Universities reopened last month.

Primary and secondary schools are scheduled to open on July 28.

Government is currently working on modalities for re-opening schools.

Primary and Secondary Education Deputy Minister Edgar Moyo said teachers were undergoing training on health protocols that are expected when lessons resume. Most schools are working on acquiring essential Covid-19 personal protective equipment such as thermometers, sanitisers and face masks.

“For now, nothing has changed. Schools are reopening on July 28. However, we will be guided by President Mnangagwa and the Ministry of Health and Child Care,” Deputy Minister Moyo said.

Deputy Minister Moyo said the opening of learning institutions amid the Covid-19 pandemic signalled a ‘new normal’.

“There is need for the opening of schools as we have been witnessing a surge in child labour and sexual abuse.

“However, schools, which are providing face masks, sanitisers and controlled environments, are (ironically) deemed unsafe by some sections of society.

Teachers unions have been calling on Government to postpone re-opening schools and defer national examinations.

President Mnangagwa last week hinted that Government could scale up coronavirus preventive and containment measures. There has been intense debate on the opening of schools worldwide.

South Africa recently reopened schools, but teacher trade unions are calling for their closure due to a surge in Covid-19 cases. Kenya last week announced that all schools would remain closed until January.

It also cancelled final year exams that are usually taken in October and November.