Covid-19: Learners write Grade Seven exams from home

At least five learners who tested positive for Covid-19 in Bulawayo wrote their Grade Seven examinations in isolation at their homes.

Grade seven pupils started writing their Zimbabwe School Examinations Council (Zimsec) examinations on Thursday.

The Grade seven examinations were supposed to be written in October but were pushed forward due to the Covid-19 pandemic that saw the premature closing off schools in March after the first case broke out.

In an interview with CITE, Director of Communications and Advocacy in the Ministry of Primary and Secondary Education, Taungana Ndoro confirmed that there were at least five learners who wrote their examinations under self-isolation.

“The number of Grade Seven learners who wrote their examinations in isolation is five or six. The examinations were written under the strict World Health Organisation (WHO) guidelines, with the supervision of the Ministry of Primary and Secondary Education that follows the standard operating procedures,” he said.

“Their teachers invigilated the process and were fully geared in Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) that is from the gowns, face masks, shields and gumboots. The learners themselves had their PPE and hand washed before for their personal hygiene.”

Ndoro added that the homes of these learners were fumigated before the examinations, as part of the strict Covid-19 preventative guidelines.

Countrywide, over 615 000 students were sitting for their Grade Seven, Form Four and Upper Six ZIMSEC examinations, according to Ndoro. 

“For now I can’t really say how many learners out of this number have tested positive because the figure keeps changing due to recoveries, to those who are waiting for their test results and those whose cases are active. It is difficult to say,” Ndoro said.

CITE understands one of the affected learners from Khumalo Primary School wrote the examinations at Elangeni Isolation Centre where he is isolated together with his mother.

Covid-19 cases in schools are rising following reported cases in Matabeleland. 

Some of the schools include John Tallach High School in Matabeleland North where the number rose to 184 at last reporting and at Matopo High, 19 students tested positive.

Reports also noted three people including two health workers working at a school clinic in George Silundika High in Nyamandlovu, Matabeleland North had been isolated after testing positive. 

Several schools in Bulawayo have also reportedly been hit by Covid-19.  

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