By Brenna Matendere
Information permanent secretary Ndavaningi Mangwana yesterday said schools were likely to re-open in August due to the COVID-19 scourge.
President Emmerson Mnangagwa early last month ordered a premature shutdown of schools and universities as a precautionary measure after the country recorded its first COVID-19 death.
However, Mangwana said schools may not re-open soon. He predicted that schools would likely re-open in August and run until Christmas time.
“We still need to bring people to classes and whatever number of days that have been lost in the current school calendar would have to be covered,” he said.
“It may mean that we are going to open schools around maybe August and go all the way to Christmas with no breaking between.
“I am not saying this is what we are going to do, but we are still talking so that we ensure learners recover.”
Mangwana was speaking during an online workshop for journalists from across the country co-ordinated in Harare. It was organised by the United Nations Development Programme and Higher Life Foundation, in partnership with the Information ministry.
“The school calendar is one of the most affected in our country because of the lockdown and because of the virus. The Ministry of Primary and Secondary Education is working on ensuring that those who can do things online right now can continue learning.
“Introducing online learning in Zimbabwe will be a challenge as the majority of pupils live in rural areas where there is little access to electricity and the prohibitive cost of mobile data.”
Mangwana said at least 1,5 million primary and secondary education students were pursuing their studies from home through an online platform called Ruzivo.
Zimbabwe has an enrolment of about 3,6 million students. News Day