Teachers and parents in Marondera, Mashonaland East Province have expressed reservations over plans by the government to reopen schools starting next month amid a rise in confirmed COVID-19 cases.
The Progressive Teachers Union of Zimbabwe (PTUZ) held a consultative meeting with parents at Mbuya Nehanda Hall in the farming town on Wednesday.
The general sentiment was that government should shelve the idea of reopening schools until it can guarantee the safety of children and teachers.
Speaking after the consultative meeting, PTUZ provincial co-ordinator Tapiwa Chengeta said stakeholders want schools to be reopened only after the coronavirus has been tamed. Said Chengeta:
All in all, Mash East parents and teachers said no to reopening. We resolved that since cases are rising, why open schools now and why the hurry?
There are no PPEs [personal protective equipment] in schools and the government has not shown a commitment to save lives and whose children should be sacrificed.
Most of the parents survive on vending, therefore, there is a need for the same government to first open the informal sector or vending so that parents have money to pay their children’s fees and needs.
The Ministry of Primary and Secondary Education has said that schools should reopen starting next month, with June examinations expected to start next week.