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Schools opening dates moved forward

The government has postponed the re-opening of schools from the previously announced date, 4th of January 2021.

The ministry of primary and secondary education says the move has been necessitated by the resurgence of the coronavirus and the threat posed by the Cyclone Chalane which is expected to hit some parts of the country.

The ministry said the new dates for the re-opening of schools will be announced in due course.

Classes were set to resume on January 4, but government pulled the plug citing quickening infections and “the new and more contagious variants of the disease as well as the threat posed by Cyclone Chalane.”

Covid infections and deaths are both on the increase in Zimbabwe with total cases now at 13,325 and fatalities at 359.

“Having deferred the opening of schools beyond 04 January 2021, the dates for the commencement of the 2021 schools calendar for all primary and secondary schools will be announced in due course as government monitors the situation,” Education permanent secretary Tumisang Thabela said in a statement.

Still, ‘O’ Level and ‘A’ level examinations will go ahead as planned from January 5 through February 5, 2021, she added.

The announcement coincided with an urgent court application by the Amalgamated Rural Teachers Union of Zimbabwe (ARTUZ) seeking an order compelling government to stop the exams and push the opening of schools to March.

“We filed an application for an interdict and declaratory relief on unsafe schools opening,” ARTUZ tweeted.

“It is our view that schools should only open in March when government has funded the implementation of SOPs. Government has already varied opening dates but examinations should also be stopped.”

The opening of schools last calendar despite concerns led to the infection of hundreds of students and teachers, and the closure of several learning institutions across the country.

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