The Ministry of Primary and Secondary Education has started dividing some schools into two or more to decongest them as COVID-19 continues to wreak havoc in communities.
The Sunday News reported a source as saying one school in Luveve, Bulawayo has already been divided into two institutions with separate staff.
Director Advocacy and Communication in the Ministry of Primary and Secondary Education Taungana Ndoro could neither deny nor confirm the development. He said:
All I can say is that there are a number of measures we are putting in place to ensure that we deal with COVID-19 when schools open.
Right now the situation is not good, teachers and headmasters are dying of COVID-19 when schools are closed.
… We are waiting for direction from the Ministry of Health and Child Care. Treasury has also said this time parents must chip in to ensure that when schools open they contribute to issues around the safety of the kids.
The Ministry reportedly wants enrolment to be reduced to 1 000 and any school with more than the number will be divided into two. The Sunday News source said:
It’s not just about reducing the number of new enrollments but dealing with the current numbers.
It has been put forward that schools must have just 1 000 pupils so that the classes can be managed during the COVID-19 crisis.
The exercise has already started and one school in Bulawayo has already been divided into two with separate staff.
Funds permitting we are pointing to a need to build more schools to enable decongestion.
The Government is also reportedly contemplating opening schools virtually. Various proposals have also been put forward including scrapping Term Two and allowing only examination classes to attend lessons while others learn virtually.