Mandla Tshuma and Senzeni Ncube
The government has indefinitely postponed the re-opening of schools for the 2021 academic year which was initially slated for Monday next week citing a surge in Covid-19 infections and the threat posed by Cyclone Chalane in the country.
Schools were closed for the Christmas and New Year holidays on Decemeber 18.
Not much learning took place at most schools across the country this year as a result of Covid-19 control measures which restrict the physical gathering of people.
Cyclone Chalane is expected to hit the country this week.
In a statement issued Wednesday, Primary and Secondary Education Permanent Secretary, Tumisang Thabela, however said Ordinary and Advanced Level examinations which began this month would still resume on January 5 and finish on February 5 as previously advised.
“The Ministry of Primary and Secondary Education would like to advise its valued learners, parents, guardians and other stakeholders, that in light of the surge in COVID-19 infections and the new more contagious variants of the disease as well at the threat posed by Cyclone Chalane, Government has seen it fit to deviate from the previously announced 2021 school calendar that directed schools to open on 04 January 2021,” said Thabela.
“In this regard, please be advised that 2020 ZIMSEC ‘O’ and ‘A’ Level examinations will resume on January 05 2021 to 05 February 2021 as previously announced. Having deferred the opening of schools beyond 04 January 2021, the dates for the commencement of the 2021 school calendar for all primary and secondary schools, will be announced in due course as Government monitors the situation.”
Thabela went on to remind learners, parents and guardians to reinforce wearing of face masks, physical distancing as well as hand washing to prevent the spread and infection of Covid-19.
“In the meantime heads of schools should continue with preparations for the safe opening of schools and the accelerated implementation of teaching and learning activities,” she added.
“The Ministry remains committed to the provision of quality, relevant, equitable, inclusive and wholesome education for all Zimbabweans.”