Teachers: Schools Will Not Open Any Time Soon

Teachers have said the situation on the ground suggests that schools would not open any time soon while the government is saying plans for re-opening are at an advanced stage.

Teachers want school re-opening deferred to August or until the COVID-19 infections have gone down.

They speak as the country is experiencing a coronavirus resurgence fuelled by the contagious Delta variant of the coronavirus that was first discovered in India.

Schools were scheduled to re-open on the 28th of June but the opening was deferred by two weeks following a surge in new coronavirus infections.

Progressive Teachers Union of Zimbabwe president Takavafira Zhou said it is suicidal to allow the schools to re-open when COVID-19 cases are going up. He said:

_Pragmatism and realism must triumph over vapid and vacuous wishful thinking._

_The reality on the ground is that schools would not open any time soon. All tertiary institutions have suspended face-to-face learning._

_At any rate, we have minors in schools that cannot fully comprehend the impact of COVID-19. If we have closed institutions used by adults, how can we open schools where there are kids?_

_We are also aware that schools do not have COVID-19 abatement equipment, and money allocated to assist schools has not filtered to schools, while standard operation procedures have not been followed._

_Put succinctly, teachers and pupils are not immune to COVID-19 and their health and safety must be prioritised._

He added that the government has no capacity to test all 136 000 teachers, ancillary staff and nearly six million pupils.

Zhou’s remarks were echoed by another teacher’s organisation, the Amalgamated Rural Teachers Union in Zimbabwe (Artuz) which called on the State to address “teacher incapacitation before thinking of reopening schools.

The union said teachers should receive pre-October 2018 salaries.

More: Pindula News; NewsDay

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