Zimbabwe News and Internet Radio

Churches barred from using schools for gatherings

By Nqobile Tshili

Churches which were using school premises for their gatherings have been barred from doing so until further notice as part of Government’s Covid-19 prevention measures.

Home Affairs and Cultural Heritage Minister Cain Mathema addresses the media in Harare. — Picture: Kudakwashe Hunda
Primary and Secondary Education Minister Cain Mathema — Picture: Kudakwashe Hunda

Before the national lockdown was imposed in March, some churches used to hire school premises to conduct their services.

Government has said school examination classes, Grade 7, Form Four and Form Six will resume lessons on July 28 for both public and private schools.

Other classes will later gradually return to school, with Early Childhood Development classes being the last to return to learning institutions.

Private schools were advised to formally engage the Ministry of Primary and Secondary Education if they need further clarification on issues that are peculiar to their operations.

In a statement yesterday, Primary and Secondary Education Minister Cain Mathema said Government was preparing for the staggered reopening of schools and the learning institutions must not be used for any other purposes except readmission of learners.

“It has come to the Ministry’s attention that there are some organisations including churches that would like to utilise school premises and structures during this Covid- 19 period and as we prepare for the reopening of schools on 28 July 2020, I would like to state that schools are opening only for 2020 examinations classes and the other levels will resume school when the health situation permits,” said Minister Mathema.

“In light of this, I would like to confirm that the Government’s focus is on ensuring safe and secure reopening that meets the World Health Organisation (WHO) guidelines. Given the need to disinfect schools and make other preparations, the schools will not be open for use by other organisations until further notice.”

He said Government appreciates the support that the Ministry was receiving ahead of schools reopening.

Schools prematurely closed on March 24 for the first term of the year as Government implemented measures to mitigate against the spread of the virus.

Preparations for the reopening of schools are on course in line with WHO and Ministry of Health and Child Care guidelines.

The preparations have seen some schools producing sanitisers as well as personal protective equipment (PPE) such as face masks to minimise the risk of spreading the virus in learning institutions. The Chronicle