Mixed participation in the opening of schools

the herald

Herald Reporters

Schools opened yesterday for all grades except Form One and Lower Six, after a four-week delay needed to see the fourth wave of Covid-19 ebb to much safer levels.

SSome schools, especially in urban areas, had fewer teachers than expected, with some teachers reporting but not teaching. Spokesman for the Ministry of Primary and Secondary Education, Mr. Taungana Ndoro, confirmed that attendance had varied.

“The first day generally went well, although some teachers and students did not show up, especially in urban areas for various reasons, but we expect the situation to be clearer by the end of the week.”

The Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Information, Publicity and Broadcasting Services, Mr. Nick Mangwana, also acknowledged the mixed turnout at some schools.

Permanent Secretary for News, Publicity and Broadcasting Services Mr. Nick Mangwana

“Nationally, some schools have 100% teacher and student attendance, while others have low teacher attendance on the first day of opening,” he wrote on his Twitter account. .

He added that schools had also opened normally in Buhera district.

In Harare, some students were sent home due to unavailability of teachers, while others went about their business as normal.

At Glen View 8 Primary School, a security guard was performing temperature checks and sanitizing all students before they entered the school gate, in accordance with standard Covid-19 operating procedures.

At Glen View 3 Secondary School, there was a strong turnout of students and teachers performing their regular duties.

In Mashonaland West, there was strong learner turnout at schools in Chinhoyi city and the rest of the province yesterday as schools started the first term of 2022, but there was low turnout from teachers in some schools.

Many teachers failed to show up for work despite the government sticking to its side of the deal on pay, including receiving an additional US$75 Covid-19 compensation in hard currency .

A visit by The Herald to Lomagundi and Sinoia and Chinhoyi primary schools in the provincial capital showed few staff showed up for work as learners were not supported.

“I am completely hurt by the behavior of the teachers. While they spent almost two years receiving wages but not working due to Covid-19, they chose not to report to work citing several challenges,” said concerned parent Mr Rigby Tamirirwa.

Meanwhile, some parents who missed the opening deadline to prepare for their children’s return to school were making last-minute purchases of stationery and uniforms yesterday.

In Kariba, some learners were turned away for not paying school fees while some parents made last minute arrangements to pay the fees.

Although some teachers did not show up for class on the first day of school, schools managed to open.

The Acting Provincial Director of Education, Mr. Jason Dzveta, said that all schools in the province have successfully opened and the selection of first-graders is underway.

He said efforts were being made to gather enough information about why some teachers were snubbing classes, although he confirmed there was relatively even participation from teachers in rural areas.

In Masvingo, schools reopened for the first term with teachers showing up for work, but most of them not giving any lessons.

A visit by The Herald to schools such as Victoria Junior and High School, Shakashe Primary showed teachers who showed up for work were not giving lessons while a few others did not show up.

Provincial education authorities said conservative estimates showed 84% of teachers had reported for work across the province.

However, they gave no lessons to learners at schools such as Victoria High spending the first day in the school hall.

In Marondera, schools opened on a high note, with most students showing up and ready to learn.

At Cherutombo high school, Nyameni secondary and primary schools and Marondera high school, the number of students who attended classes was satisfactory even if some teachers did not show up.

The founder of the UMAA Institute, Dr. Cleopas Kundiona, said there were preparations for the schools to open and it started smoothly.

“We were prepared for this date as the government gave us enough time to prepare and even the parents were as evidenced by the high attendance rate,” Dr Kundiona said.

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