The Zimbabwe Teachers Association (ZIMTA) has urged the government to provide at least the minimum amount of resources needed to curb the spread of the coronavirus in schools so that learning can resume.
ZIMTA chief executive officer Sifiso Ndlovu acknowledged that the government has no capacity to avail all the resources needed by schools for COVID-19 prevention measures, hence the need for a compromise. He said:
The truth of the matter is that there won’t be sufficient resources to meet the demands of COVID-19 prevention measures and as such a compromise must be made and that is where we bring in the issue of dialogue. We need to have a basic minimum that has to be met.
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For example, we should know how primary pupils are affected by COVID-19 as well as their teachers. We should prepare to live with the virus.
We can’t be running away from the virus by continuously opening and closing our schools but we have to come up with measures to mitigate rapid infections in schools.
Ndlovu also called upon authorities to come up with a catch-up programme that will compensate for lost time as well as the provision of an incentive for teachers. He said:
We should agree on a catch-up programme and what motivation tools to be provided so that teachers can go the extra mile to ensure pupils catch up in addition to their normal teaching programme.
We need to rethink the timetabling of the school’s calendar. What does it mean? We have to change, do we still have a one-month long break or a one week to two weeks’ vacation.
Schools were set to reopen on the 4th of January but the idea was shelved indefinitely by the government following a spike in COVID-19 cases.