The government has reiterated that COVID-19 containment measures including the wearing of face masks will remain in place for all learners in schools and tertiary institutions when lessons resume next week.
Graduation ceremonies are also expected to continue under the restrictions as the pandemic is not over yet.
This was said by the Ministry of Primary and Secondary Education (MoPSE) and the Minister of Higher and Tertiary Education, Innovation Science and Technology Development Professor Amon Murwira ahead of schools opening next week.
The government recently lifted the wearing of masks for fully vaccinated people in public but in other places, they remain mandatory.
An official from the Ministry of Primary and Secondary Education told the Sunday News that all COVID-19 protocols in schools remain in place. Said the official:
Our Standard Operating Procedures for the prevention and management of COVID-19 and other influenza-like illnesses in the Primary and Secondary Education sector still hold.
This means that the maintenance of social distancing, wearing of masks, hand hygiene, and handling of food utensils in schools have become the new normal.
Learning takes place in a closed setting, in a classroom and this still requires compliance where the wearing of face masks by learners and their teachers remain in place.
We are waiting for the Government to release the relevant Statutory Instrument on how learners will be managed in schools regarding any changes to the current settings where classes were reduced and the wearing of masks.
There are some secondary schools that have not met the 70 per cent threshold of double vaccination and we stand guided by the Ministry of Health and Child Care on how this will also be managed.
This is a public health issue and the delivery of education during an emergency like COVID-19 is guided by protocols as directed by the Government.
The Provincial Medical Directors are working hand in hand with the Provincial Education Directors of various provinces to ensure there are safe working areas for both learners and their teachers.
More: The Sunday News