Mashonaland West Bureau
Defiant teachers and parents have been warned against exposing children to Covid-19 through conducting private lessons.
Zimbabwe is presently on Level Four lockdown following a rapid surge in Covid-19 cases across the country, which hit over 1 000 for two days.
Deaths are also mounting, making a strong case for citizens to observe the lockdown measures.
But with schools closed to minimise the spread of Covid-19, some teachers are conducting private lessons, so as to make money, but without due regard to the law.
Primary and Secondary Education Ministry’s director of communications and advocacy, Mr Taungana Ndoro yesterday warned teachers and parents against exposing children to the deadly coronavirus.
“The ministry’s and Government position is very clear; we don’t allow teachers to conduct extra lessons in facilities that are not designated and lacking standards approved by the Government.
“We strongly encourage parents not to take their children to these illegal lessons as they risk exposing them to the virus, making it explosive,” he said.
Mr Ndoro added that to protect both the children, parents and the whole nation, online and radio lessons were introduced so that children continue to access education.
“We urge parents to adopt technology and use online learning materials that are provided. Children can enjoy the lessons from the comfort of their homes and gadgets.
“As a ministry, we condemn these teachers offering lessons and parents taking their children there as we are seriously concerned about the standards that these illegal facilities will be lacking including proper monitoring of social distancing, face masking, sanitising and exchange of learning materials including notebooks,” he said.
Minister of State for Mashonaland West Provincial Affairs and Devolution, Mary Mliswa-Chikoka, told The Herald that it was worrisome that some parents and teachers in the province were risking the lives of children by allowing illegal lessons to prevail.
Minister Mliswa-Chikoka, a survivor of the deadly pandemic, said teachers and parents were supposed to be the ones protecting the children.
“The teachers and parents are supposed to protect and adhere to the lockdown regulations. Right now we are in a situation where we can see that a lot of people are succumbing to Covid-19 and we must adhere to the regulations.
“The law is going to take its course on the teachers who are currently illegal lessons here in Mashonaland West because we can expose our children to the virus,” said Minister Mliswa-Chikoka, who is also the Provincial Covid-19 Taskforce chairperson.
She urged the public to adhere to the lockdown regulations and get tested early.
Mashonaland West provincial police spokesperson, Inspector Margaret Chitove, warned the defiant teachers and asked communities to provide information of such teachers so as to bring them to book.