Teacher unions have implored the government to suspend the remaining examinations to avoid exposing learners and teachers to the virus.
The advice comes after the government had reimposed a strict lockdown that comes into effect this Tuesday but allowed examinations to continue.
In response to the directive, Progressive Teachers Union (PTUZ) and the Amalgamated Rural Teachers Union of Zimbabwe (Artuz) said the government should consider completely closing the schools to save lives.
PTUZ president, Takavafira Zhou, said the whole examination process should be suspended to save lives. Zhou said:
We urge the ministry to postpone the writing of exams in light of the quantum leap of COVID-19 cases in the country.
It is important to prioritise the health and safety of students, teachers and ancillary staf.
Earlier on, PTUZ secretary-general Raymond Majongwe through the union’s official Twitter account said teachers and learners should only go back to school if the government made a commitment to pay invigilation allowances as well as test for COVID-19 before anyone enters the examination room.
In a statement, the Artuz urged its members not to report for duty on Monday 4 January 2021 until COVID-19 is under control. Said the union in a statement:
The sharp increase in COVID-19 deaths in the last few days is a signal to defer opening of schools and Zimsec public examinations.
Opening of schools for exam classes under the current situation will be equivalent to first-degree murder by the responsible authorities.
We are witnessing high profile people succumbing to COVID-19, a majority of them were admitted to private elite hospitals with better healthcare equipment as compared to public hospitals.
This alone shows that teachers, economically disadvantaged students and low-class citizens are more trapped to death once infected.
Artuz added that teachers are already highly incapacitated to report for duty.
There has been a surge in the number of coronavirus cases lately and the country is incapacitated to handle the situation.