The Government said it has managed to curb the spread of the novel coronavirus in schools as the 2022 first term ended this Thursday.
Previously, local health experts have argued against the opening of schools in the middle of the COVID-19 pandemic saying schools may become superspreaders.
But Primary and Secondary Education ministry spokesperson Taungana Ndoro said the ministry drew lessons from last term when hundreds of learners contracted COVID-19.
A number of schools, in particular boarding schools, including universities and colleges, were forced to close as new infections soared. Said Ndoro:
We have improved well from the previous state of affairs in schools regarding COVID-19 management.
Active cases never went above 1 000 and many of these cases were asymptomatic.
The recently started vaccination blitz has also aided us in ensuring the disease is managed in schools.
However, teachers’ unions disputed Ndoro’s assertion, arguing that the Ministry of Primary and Secondary Education failed to support schools.
Progressive Teachers Union of Zimbabwe president Takavafira Zhou said:
Schools had to depend on well-wishers and former old students’ associations for reprieve.
It is clear there was a need for a broad intervention policy more crafted in practical intervention.
Amalgamated Rural Teachers’ Union president Obert Masaraure said:
The government once again left our learners and teachers exposed to the pandemic.
The new strains of COVID-19 seem to be less virulent and that is the only reason why schools were not forced to close.