THE Zimbabwe Teachers Association (Zimta) has called upon the government to come up with mitigatory strategies for the COVID-19 pandemic at schools in order to facilitate their reopening amid a spike in coronavirus cases in the country.
Zimta chief executive Sifiso Ndlovu told NewsDay that it was imperative for government to make plans to open schools in order to save lives which constitute the children’s future as well as come up with mechanisms to prevent the spread of the virus at learning institutions.
“We must save lives, but we cannot continue to destroy livelihoods because children have been affected a lot in terms of their education. Other countries have opened schools even though there is a pandemic,” Ndlovu said.
He said government should come up with strong measures to alleviate the pandemic, at the same time enabling schools to reopen.
Ndlovu also expressed fears that the girl child would be severely affected as girls grow faster than boys, adding that it would be difficult for some of them to return to school after staying away for too long.
He said public education would continue to suffer as long as people continued to call for promotion of virtual learning.
In December, government announced the postponement of reopening of schools as COVID-19 cases continued to soar, coupled with the threat of flooding which had been posed by Cyclone Chalane.
Schools were supposed to reopen on January 4, 2021 for the first term, but the reopening was postponed.
Last year, schools were reopened in phases starting from late October 2020, to cater for the examination classes.
They were then closed for the Christmas holidays, but reopening was postponed after a number of learning institutions were hit by COVID-19 infections.