The Progressive Teachers Union of Zimbabwe (PTUZ) has demanded that the government must first consult all education stakeholders before announcing the opening of schools for the second term.
In a letter dated 6 August 2021 addressed to the Primary and Secondary Education ministry, PTUZ secretary-general Raymond Majongwe said:
We are aware that there is chatter about preparations of schools opening, both on the ground and on social media and other platforms.
We are also writing this cognisant of the fact that there are actual preparations on the part of the government for the reopening of schools, possibly as early as the third week of August.
Preparation by the government is not enough if we are to have seamless terms when we do open.
Here we emphasise the importance of consultation between the ministry and its foot soldiers as well as representatives of teachers’ organisations.
Majongwe said other discussions should also centre on teachers’ welfare, and their safety and that of schoolchildren during the COVID-19 period. He said:
It is in light of this that we call on you to convene a meeting with stakeholders to address the issues to avoid acrimony and recriminations that we have always witnessed every time school opens.
These issues include the structure of the academic year, including the second and third terms remaining for 2021, the need to determine a mutually agreed examination calendar, given the disruptions brought about by the continued closure of schools due to the COVID-19 pandemic among others.
Last week, Primary and Secondary Education Minister Cain Mathema said some school heads in Masvingo Province schools are ready to open for the second term since measures have been put in place to ensure the safety of learners.