Sunday News Reporter
THE Government has started splitting some schools into two or more to decongest them as Covid-19 continues to wreak havoc in communities.
Sunday News understands that one school in Luveve, Bulawayo has already been divided into two institutions with separate staff as the Ministry of Primary and Secondary Education puts in place measures to see how they could reopen schools.
Director Advocacy and Communication in the Ministry of Primary and Secondary Education Mr Taungana Ndoro could neither deny nor confirm the development.
“All I can say is that there are a number of measures we are putting in place to ensure that we deal with Covid-19 when schools open. Right now the situation is not good, teachers and headmasters are dying of Covid-19, when schools are closed,” he said.
However, impeccable sources in the Ministry said they wanted enrolment to be reduced to 1 000 and any school with more than the number will be divided into two.
“It’s not just about reducing the number of new enrollment but dealing with the current numbers. It has been put forward that schools must have just 1 000 pupils so that the classes can be managed during the Covid-19 crisis. The exercise has already started and one school in Bulawayo has already been divided into two with separate staff. Funds permitting we are pointing to a need to build more schools to enable decongestion,” said the source.
The Government is also contemplating opening schools virtually. There are a number of options also being put forward including scrapping Term Two and allowing only examination classes to attend lessons while others learn virtually.
Mr Ndoro said as a Ministry, they were waiting from guidlines from the Ministry of Health and Child Care on the way forward.
“We are waiting for the direction from the Ministry of Health and Child Care. Treasury has also said this time parents must chip in to ensure that when schools open they contribute to issues around safety of the kids.”
Last month, under the enhanced level four lockdown, the Government deferred the opening of schools for the second term as cases of the Covid-19 pandemic continue to surge.