Zimbabwe parliament cautions against re-opening schools amid COVID-19 pandemic

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Zimbabwe’s parliament has cautioned against the imminent re-opening of schools, saying that conditions on the ground were not yet conducive for such a move amid more COVID-19 infections.

As of Thursday evening, the country had reported 237 confirmed COVID-19 cases, up from 63 over a week earlier.

The government has been planning to re-open schools for public examinations with the Zimbabwe School Examinations Council, setting June 30 as the provisional start date for the Ordinary and Advanced Level June examinations.

The Herald newspaper reported Friday that parliamentarians on Thursday rejected plans to re-open the schools until they are ready to accommodate the learners safely.

Chairperson of the Portfolio Committee on Primary and Secondary Education Priscilla Misihairabwi-Mushonga said interactions her committee had with various stakeholders had shown that the country was not ready for the re-opening of schools.

Teachers’ unions were also worried over the safety of pupils and teachers, she said.

“All these stakeholders said we cannot proceed to re-open because the basics like running water, personal protective equipment and basic screening equipment that are needed for that are not there,” Misihairabwi-Mushonga said.

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