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Varsities granted nod to reopen

Higher and tertiary education institutions have been given the green light to set dates for opening and commencement of examinations following the resumption of examination classes for primary and secondary schools tomorrow.

Acting Minister of Public Service, Labour and Social Welfare July Moyo (left), flanked by the ministry’s Deputy Minister Lovemore Matuke and Higher and Tertiary Education, Science and Technology Development Minister Amon Murwira (centre), addresses journalists after a meeting with civil servants’ representatives in Harare. — (Picture by Innocent Makawa)
Acting Minister of Public Service, Labour and Social Welfare July Moyo (left), flanked by the ministry’s Deputy Minister Lovemore Matuke and Higher and Tertiary Education, Science and Technology Development Minister Amon Murwira (centre), addresses journalists after a meeting with civil servants’ representatives in Harare. — (Picture by Innocent Makawa)

Higher and Tertiary Education, Innovation, Science and Technology Development Minister Professor Amon Murwira told our Bulawayo Bureau yesterday that individual institutions should work on dates for reopening as Government would not impose a blanket schedule.

He said institutions can only reopen after meeting all the health and safety guidelines.

“We are not pushing them to say all of them should open up at once. Some might be able to open today, some might be able to do it next week and some might be able to do it next month. They have that leeway and it is very important that they have that because it ensures that everything is done properly.”

Government, Prof Murwira added, had given institutions support to vaccinate students against Covid-19.

“At every tertiary institution, there is a clinic, and the Ministry of Health and Child Care has authorised that they also become vaccination centres for the staff that are there. That’s how prepared we are and this decision was reached at the beginning of July. In terms of face-to-face lectures or when they write exams, this will be done in terms of the situation that is on the ground. The framework that we gave them allows them to operate at any time in a manner that is conducive and in line with health and safety regulations.”

Some institutions have already released dates for reopening. Midlands State University has informed students that it would be welcoming first-year students for orientation and examination candidates from September 6. The University of Zimbabwe said end-of-semester examinations for third and fourth-year students will start on September 13, while the new semester will commence on October 18.

In a notice to students, the National University of Science and Technology said it would reopen in a phased manner, with some faculties set to resume lectures tomorrow. The Sunday Mail

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