Zimbabwe News and Internet Radio

Teachers union puts pressure for June exams to be postponed

By Tendai Rupapa

The Zimbabwe Teachers Association (Zimta) has proposed the postponement of the June and November 2020 examinations owing to the failure by teachers to travel to their nearest centres to administer the registration process because of the 21-day lockdown.

File picture of a teacher in a class with pupils
File picture of a teacher in a class with pupils

Zimta, an association representing over 40 000 teachers in Zimbabwe, wants an informed analysis of the impact of Covid-19 to be done before pupils sit for examinations.

The teachers’ body is calling on Government to provide Covid-19 testing kits in all schools ahead of the Second Term to curtail the spread of the deadly virus.

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“Zimta is calling on the Government of Zimbabwe to consider postponing the sitting of June and November examinations until a well-informed analysis of the impact of Covid-19 has been done.

“As educators, we stand ready to work with the Government of Zimbabwe in combating and eradicating the Covid-19 pandemic amongst educators, learners and parents.

“Educators look forward to the Government’s support in achieving this vital goal,” said Zimta in a statement yesterday.

Zimsec recently said exams were going ahead unless a directive came from Government.

Zimta said during the lockdown, it had documented complaints against Zimsec’s administration, whose directive to teachers appeared to work against the lockdown regulation.

The association added that some school heads were demanding that teachers travel to school offices to attend disciplinary hearings.

Teachers, said Zimta, were under distress from the effects of Covid-19, just like many citizens.

Some schools have since adopted distance learning to fight the spread of coronavirus.

However, there are fears that some teachers might lose their jobs and Zimta wants Government to ensure employment was guaranteed.

“It is critical for Government to provide and protect qualified teachers who will remain key ingredients to the provision of quality public education in Zimbabwe,” reads the statement.

Meanwhile, Primary and Secondary Education Minister Cain Mathema has dismissed online reports stating that schools will reopen on April 28.

A report on an online publication quoted Minister Mathema saying schools would reopen early following their premature closure over the Covid 19 pandemic.

“There is nothing like that. I work on instructions from the President and so far he has not directed that schools reopen early.

“We are in the midst of fighting the pandemic so why should we rush to reopen the schools early,” Minister Mathema said.

Schools and institutions of higher learning were closed on March 19 as a precautionary measure to forestall the spread of Covid-19 following a directive from the President.

At the time of the closure, President Mnangagwa observed that it was of paramount importance to protect the lives learners.

The ministry has entered into a partnership with the Higherlife Foundation to offer free online educational material to learners during the ongoing lockdown.

Learners are accessing through the Ruzivo platform, www.rdl.co.zw.

Higherlife Foundation is a philanthropic organisation founded by Strive and Tsitsi Masiyiwa.

The country is on a 21-day lockdown that will end on April 19. The Herald