Sunday, 1 May 2022

NORMAL SCHOOL DAYS BACK : GOVT

The normal five-day learning week will resume when school open on Tuesday, bringing to an end the alternating system that saw learners attending in-person classes on specified days due to Covid-19, it has been learnt.

The move will mark the first time in two years that learners will have normal lessons after Government’s measures to curb the spread of the pandemic in March 2020.

Schools were de-congested through the implementation of Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs).

It resulted in learners attending physical lessons for two or three days only, with different Grades alternating.

In an interview  at the just-ended Zimbabwe International Trade Fair (ZITF), director for communication and advocacy in the Ministry of Primary and Secondary Education, Mr Taungana Ndoro, said school authorities had been advised to prepare for a normal schooling term.

“The idea of alternating the number of days learners come to school is falling off this term. Learners can now go to school every day, but schools must continue to observe the Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) to ensure that they prevent and minimise Covid-19 cases.”

Last week, Cabinet announced that it had approved the reopening of schools for the second term under strict compliance with Covid-19 prevention protocols to ensure a safe environment for learners.

Speaking during a post-Cabinet briefing, Information, Publicity and Broadcasting Services Minister Senator Monica Mutsvangwa said: “The nation is further being informed that the Ministry of Primary and Secondary Education is currently preparing for the safe reopening of schools on May 3, 2022 in full compliance with the Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) for the prevention and management of Covid-19 as well as other Influenza-like illnesses.”

The Government is also following through on its promises to cushion workers and improve their welfare.

Primary and secondary learning institutions countrywide have started compiling names of the beneficiaries of the teachers’ children school fees payment scheme.

The scheme, which was recently introduced by Government, includes school fees support for up to three biological children.

It also includes duty-free vehicles, among other incentives.

Public Service, Labour and Social Welfare Minister Professor Paul Mavima said Government was expeditiously working to ensure that the non-monetary incentives were rolled out.

“Although we are a bit behind, we have started implementation and we have put up a system which seeks to identify the children, schools and parents of the beneficiaries,” he said.

“We have already spoken to the Ministry of Primary and Secondary Education about the issue and now there is a need for us to move very fast. In terms of the construction of accommodation, that is still in the pipeline.”

Public Service Commission Secretary Ambassador Jonathan Wutawunashe said Government is committed to honouring itscommitments.

“The teaching parents have to give information on their school-going children, the maximum being three. Once the schools have finished with compiling exercises, Treasury will be furnished with all the details on the children, then schools will be paid directly.

“We want to make sure that this term everything will be in order. We will reimburse what was paid for last term.”

Government, he added, would honour its commitment to pay for three children and reimburse any fees paid with effect from when the announcement was made.

“Building of the teachers’ accommodation at institutions is also in progress. As for salary negotiations, they are ongoing and we will always meet regularly to discuss the issues affecting our workers.”

Zimbabwe Teachers Association (ZIMTA) secretary-general Mr Godwill Taderera confirmed that data collection to ensure payment of fees for teachers’ children had begun.

“The information collection started last term just before schools closed and teachers were required to submit their children’s names for the scheme,” he said.

The opening of schools has also presented a major headache for parents as some learning institutions have hiked fees.

However, Government insists that schools should follow proper procedure and apply for any proposed increases. Sunday Mail

0 comments:

Post a Comment