Matabeleland North stakeholders have called for the further suspension of the opening of schools and postponement of June examinations until it is safe to open. They threatened to withhold their children if the government continues to open the schools. Stakeholders made the remarks during a virtual dialogue organised by the Rural Communities Empowerment Trust (Rucet). Progressive Teachers Union of Zimbabwe (PTUZ) and the Amalgamated Rural Teachers Union of Zimbabwe (ARTUZ) representatives were guest speakers.

The meeting was moderated by Rucet Coordinator Vumani Ndlovu.

PTUZ Matabeleland North Secretary for Young Teachers Thabani Tshuma said it was proper to ensure safety of both learners and teachers before schools are opened.

“PTUZ therefore urges the government to desist from an impulse opening of schools without ensuring that it is very safe to do so,” he said.

“The government should ensure that Coronavirus is under control before opening schools.” ARTUZ Matabeleland North Chairperson Sukoluhle Ndlovu said it is a risk for to open schools when Covid 19 cases are still increasing.

“Schools are not yet safely prepared now and government must suspend their opening for now,” she said. Bayanda Moyo said the Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Primary and Secondary Education, Tumisang Thabela said $20 billion is needed to open schools and provide with most of the materials needed.

Mthokozisi Mbuyazwe said it was sad that the government is currently failing to cater for the quarantine centres and how will it be able to cater for thousands of school children and teachers. Zimbabwe Schools Examination Council (Zimsec) on Tuesday announced that the June examinations will begin on June 30.

Source: Humanitarian Information Facilitation Centre (HIFC)