The government will continue to closely monitor the situation in schools as the safety of teachers and learners is of paramount importance, a cabinet official has said.
Public Service, Labour and Social Welfare Minister, Professor Paul Mavima made these remarks ahead of the Zimsec O & A level exams starting today. Grade seven exams will start on Thursday.
Prof Mavima, who was speaking in an interview before commissioning a new service delivery vehicle fleet bought by Gokwe town council over the weekend, said the Government will not hesitate to shut down schools if Covid-19 cases continue to increase.
“Remember a number of precautions were taken to ensure safety in schools. It’s unfortunate that we have had few schools including John Tallach High School recording high figures of pupils and teachers that tested positive to Covid-19. The school authorities are however doing their best to adhere to the Education Ministry’ standard operating procedures.
“If there is a serious problem, the Government will not hesitate to take measures to protect pupils and their teachers because their lives come first. We have had a few worrying cases and we hope the situation remains under control,” said Minister Mavima.
He said President Mnangagwa has repeatedly said the people’s lives come first and as such will not hesitate to order the closure of schools if it becomes necessary to protect pupils and teachers.
There had been calls to shut down schools to protect teachers and learners after there was a sharp rise in CoVid-19 cases in schools.
Some had been calling for the postponement of exams on the grounds that pupils did not get enough time to cover the syllabus but the government remained adamant that exams should go ahead as pupils had prepared enough.
The government also said that pupils with CoVid-19 will write separately from others in a bid to contain the virus.
The government has also pledged financial support for pregnant schoolgirls.