All systems go ahead of schools opening

Parents and guardians have taken advantage of the resumption of business after the festive season to start preparations for the first school term with Government looking forward to an intensive and disruption-free school calendar.

Bookshops, school uniform merchants and those in education-related businesses registered brisk business in Harare yesterday and expect to continue on the same trajectory ahead of schools re-opening on Monday next week.

On the other hand, Government is looking to further its national educational goals anchored on providing quality, inclusive and equitable education for all.

The Ministry of Primary and Secondary Education said it was all systems go for Monday’s re-opening of schools and they are also expecting to welcome new teachers, mostly recent graduates, to complement existing staff.

Speaking to The Herald yesterday, ministry spokesperson Mr Taungana Ndoro said they are not expecting any setbacks in delivering on their mandate this term.

“It’s all systems go ahead of schools opening on Monday January 9. Our teachers and learners are ready and all is in place for a safe resumption of classes.

“We are expecting to receive more teachers who will be employed by the Public Service Commission to complement existing staff. We do not expect any disturbances because we have now adjusted to the new normal,” said Mr Ndoro.

“The Covid-19 protocols put in place to curb the spread of the virus will still be in place so that we have got a safe learning environment in our schools.

“Health workers have noted that the upgrade in hygiene and other standards, which includes better school water supplies to fight Covid-19, have also cut many other infections.”

The first term ends on March 30, a week before Good Friday and Easter holidays.

Mr Ndoro said schools were now opening on a Monday, a departure from the traditional Tuesdays, as a way of maximising learning time.

On the other hand, school heads say they are ready to welcome learners back to schools and have implored parents and guardians to pay fees.

“We are ready for them,” said National Association of Primary Heads (NAPH) president Mrs Cynthia Khumalo.

“To parents and guardians, we urge them to pay fees on time so that children get the resources that are required, or even to pay in instalments, not just to send children to school without paying anything.

“To the learners, we urge them to work hard to be successful in their studies. On our part we will be ready to give our all for the benefit of learners.”

Schools have continually stressed that parents with problems over fees need to contact schools in advance so that payment arrangements can be worked out.

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