Open Schools In Phases – ZINUSH
Open schools in phases says the Zimbabwe Union of School Heads (ZINUSH), with examination classes opening first after certain conditions are met.
ZINUSH sent those recommendation in a letter dated 16 August 2021 to the Ministry of Primary and Secondary Education (MOPSE) permanent secretary, Mrs. Tumisang Thabela.
"Members throughout the ten provinces generally feel that the opening of schools, albeit a staggered format (starting with exam classes) if key conditions are met," wrote ZINUSH secretary general, Munyaradzi Majoni.
Among the key conditions recomended by ZINUSH is the provision of Personal Protective Equipment (PPEs) by the ministry.
"ZINUSH recognizes that the ministry should ensure that all schools in Zimbabwe have received sufficient supplies of personal protective equipment (PPEs) before announcing the schools opening dates. Delegating the responsibility to supply PPEs to parents will not be ideal at this stage considering the fact that most schools have bank accounts in the red zone."
ZINUSH also recommended that workers in the education sector must be given first priority at vaccination centres. The union also touched the long standing issues of salaries negotiations and urged the government to urgently recruit more teachers in schools.
"Salary negotiations need to be concluded before schools open. The Ministry of Public Service, Labour and Social Welfare needs to sincerely engage unions representing members of the education sector before schools open to avoid the perennial labour unrest in education," ZINUSH said.
"The government needs to urgently expedite the employment of more teachers in all public schools. Heads and Deputy Heads in almost all provinces report that there are lots of vacancies in public schools which, if unaddressed, will force most schools to enlarge their class sizes putting the lives of both education practitioners and learners at risk," said ZINUSH.
Schools in Zimbabwe have been closed since 4 June 2021 due to the Covid-19 lockdown. Government recently informed schools to prefer for openning, though no opening date has been set aside yet.