Suspension of schools opening and public exams the only way to go

I would like to start by applauding the stance by the government of the republic of Zimbabwe as a measure of containing the novel corona virus, through the ministry of primary and secondary education (MoPSE) the government of the day back shifted the opening of schools for 2020 second term initially scheduled to be Tuesday 5 May to a later date to be announced. Currently the human race is susceptible to the bedevilment of the Covid-19, scientific evidence currently in hand has proven that the disease is transmitted via air droplets and having contact with surfaces contaminated with its pathogen. Through gold class scientific investigations it was observed that the disease is viral hence no cure and its being recommended to practice the approved preventive measures to curb fatalities emanating from the infection of mankind with the virus. Health experts are urging people to practice a high degree of hygiene, use of alcohol based antiseptics, disinfection of surfaces prone to human contact and above all the maintenance of social distance. Most countries around the globe devised national lockdown as an instrument that promotes social distancing to an extent that breaching lockdown restrictions has been considered a criminal offence. Most countries’ neighbourhoods including Zimbabwe are highly infested with law enforcing agencies as watchdogs on the observation of the lockdown by citizens.

It’s insensible and inhuman to forcibly resume the Zimbabwean schools second term learning process amidst the corona virus driven crisis which is currently conjuring the global village with unbearable and unheard of mortality rates. The pandemic disease is not sparing lives of people gathered wantonly without installation of the prerequisite preventive measures within environments of intended gathering and amongst gatherers as per WHO standards. As ARTUZ we are fully versed with the state of schools that our passionate teachers are thriving to offer their services in, during this covid-19 driven crisis the opening of schools in our motherland is catastrophic and will only serve as a move to stake teachers together with their learners in a death row. Most rural schools are overpopulated with limited infrastructure thereby creating a situation of human congested staff rooms and classrooms for instance in Mutoko district at Mutoko and Chinzanga Primary schools the current student enrolment overwhelms the present infrastructure to an extent that the later school uses an abandoned beer hall as a class room. With this and other unpleasant situations in schools around Zimbabwe ARTUZ Mutoko district has thrown its weights behind the position of the ARTUZ National Executive Counsel calling for the keeping of school gates shut and suspension of public exams until the corona virus is contained.

The government through responsible authorities should however keep on making preparations to open schools later in the course of the prevailing crisis upon putting drastic preventive measures on the ground in school environments to save teachers and learners. In creating the corona virus aseptic schools the government should focus more on supplying sanitizers, providing PPEs and conducting covid-19 tests on both learners and teachers coupled with continuous spraying of all school work rooms with antiseptics. Corona virus is now at the community transmission phase therefore consider everyone around you as infected. Don’t assume everyone around you is sensible as you have been.

Source: Wellington Gweshe, Amalgamated Rural Teachers Union of Zimbabwe (ARTUZ), Mutoko District

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