Schools reopening date latest: Government issues statement

Minister Monica Mutsvangwa

The opening of all day schools countrywide has been deferred to Wednesday, while boarding schools will open today as previously scheduled with many boarders travelling back to their schools yesterday.

However, boarders who failed to travel to their schools yesterday were advised to do so on Wednesday to pave way for President Mnangagwa’s inauguration.

Information, Publicity and Broadcasting Services Minister Monica Mutsvangwa yesterday confirmed that schools reopening for day scholars, initially scheduled for today had been deferred as so many people today would be going to the National Sports Stadium for President Mnangagwa’s inauguration after his victory in the election last month, creating traffic congestion.

“Those children who are supposed to go to boarding schools can go ahead but for day scholars, we are saying schools will be open on Wednesday.

“For day scholars it is for the whole country, but in terms of boarding schools they will go ahead some have already left we know that. They can go ahead and go to school, but day scholars will start school on Wednesday to give an opportunity to celebrate the incoming President of Zimbabwe,” she said.

Ministry of Primary and Secondary Education deputy director advocacy and communications Patrick Zumbo said: “This postponement allows for schools to resume without the anticipated traffic congestion due to the planned national event,” he said.

Acting Permanent Secretary in the ministry Ms Kwadzanai Nyanungo said the Government had put in place measures to ensure the smooth reopening of schools, which will culminate in the November public examinations.

Parents and guardians accompany learners to board buses back to school for the third term at Bulawayo Large City ahead of the opening of schools

“All provinces have taken stock of the strategic targets, key activities and practical arrangements to be made at the local level.

“The Zimbabwe School Examinations Council’s public examination calendar has been disseminated and the necessary preparations are in full swing, together with the moderation of the continuous assessment component for each level,” she said.

Ms Nyanungo said measures to contain the mumps outbreak have already been put in place as the Government has also made progress in reviewing the curriculum framework.

“The ministry is on course to review the new curriculum. Comments and inputs received through stakeholder consultations and from the learners themselves are receiving serious attention in shaping the way forward,” she said

The third term opening which will culminate in the November public examinations has also seen the Government putting in place necessary measures to curb mumps outbreak in schools.

In Harare it was hectic as hundreds of learners converged at the usual pick-up points including Harare Exhibition Park and the Civic Centre Car Park off Gamal Abdel Nasser Road in the capital.

School buses started departing the capital city as early as 5am, while only a few learners were yet to depart by midday.

There was some controversy at some pick up points as Harare City Council workers confiscated mobile toilets that had been set up at the points. Council employees allegedly went on to assault the owners of the mobile toilets.

Lack of ablution facilities at pick up points has often led to open defecation posing a serious health risk for learners and parents during the schools opening and closing days.

No comment could immediately be obtained from Harare City Council.

A parent whose child learns at Bright Light in Odzi, Manicaland Province Mr Michael Tande said school preparations were always draining.

“I am glad that I have managed to send my son to school. Schools opening at all times is demanding no matter how long you prepare. There are always last minute challenges,” he said.

A Msengezi High School parent who declined to be named said she had to make a payment plan for school fees.

“I was struggling to raise the US$460 school fees. I only managed to pay US$330 and made a payment plan with the school authorities,” she said.

Another parent Mrs Tinoda Zvakaendwa said: “Preparing for a kid to go back to school is never an easy thing. Even if you try to prepare during the holiday, it is never enough. You always find yourself in the eleventh-hour rush,” she said.

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