Saturday, 25 April 2020


THE Government is finalising modalities that will see primary and secondary school learners receiving lessons through radio in the wake of the Covid-19 pandemic that has disrupted the school calendar leading to cancellation of Cambridge international examinations for May and June.

Primary and Secondary Education Deputy Minister Edgar Moyo told Sunday News in an interview yesterday that they have since reached an agreement with the national broadcaster – ZBC on having school lessons broadcast on its radio stations.

He however, could not reveal when the programme will start.

“We are not yet sure as of when the schools are going to open. That will be said by the President after consultations with the relevant stakeholders and in line with the World Health Organisation (WHO) guidelines. 

“We, however, admit that a lot has been disturbed in our learning. As you are aware, we closed schools early and we are not yet sure of the dates of opening. We are still under lockdown. We have examination classes and we are just preparing ourselves for the realities that we are going to open schools one day. So, in that regard we have engaged ZBC and agreed to have lessons on radio for both primary and secondary classes,” he said.

Asked what would happen to those that have no access to radios because of poor radio signal reception and other social factors, Deputy Minister Moyo said material would be printed and distributed to rural communities that have no access to radio.

“We are developing printed material for those that will not be able to access radio lessons. We are mindful of the rural communities who have no access so a plan is in place for them. We know that some school work has been going on, on various social media platforms accessible to learners where teachers are sending their classes work to do but that is not formal, but it is not bad. It, however, only disadvantages those learners from poor backgrounds who have no access to gadgets and we hope the teachers will take that into consideration when schools open,” said Deputy Minister Moyo.

He added that the ministry was also preparing online lessons and material development through Ruzivo pushed by High Life Foundation which was a Government partner under Curriculum Development and Technical Services (CDTS). 

The Ministry of Primary and Secondary Education, he said, was working with the Ministry of Health and Child Care to ensure there would be adherence to guidelines such as social distancing, wearing of masks and use of sanitisers when schools open.

“Teachers will have to undergo sensitisation workshops, so it’s a whole lot of work that we are doing as we want to ensure a safe learning environment in our schools,” he said.

Deputy Minister Moyo encouraged innovation at school level saying items such as masks could be made at schools by those doing Design and Technology.

“There is a school in Karoi called Chikangwe High that is into manufacturing masks and that is the type of innovation that we want in schools,” he said.

In a statement released by Cambridge Regional Director in Sub-Saharan Africa Mr Juan Visser, the international examination board said it had cancelled the May/June 2020 examinations in all countries.

“Our decision not to hold our international examinations in the May/June 2020 series in any country was taken after much consideration; not least because many schools are closed and countries are under lockdown. This cancellation is not unique to Cambridge, most awarding bodies and ministries of education have taken similar decisions,” reads part of the statement. 

Meanwhile, universities and colleges have also adopted online learning due to restrictions on travelling and social distancing.

Most of the country’s universities have, however, turned themselves into innovation centres where they have been capacitated to manufacture sanitisers. The Covid-19 pandemic has so far killed more than 198 000 people with more than 2.83 million confirmed cases worldwide. Zimbabwe, by Friday had 28 confirmed cases and four deaths. Sunday News


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