By Mbekezeli Ncube
THE Progressive Teachers Union of Zimbabwe (PTUZ) has urged government to postpone the marking of national schools examinations to save teachers from the threat of a rampaging Covid-19 pandemic in the country.
The pandemic has claimed 962 lives, among them serving and former government ministers, in 30 523 cases recorded since outbreak last March.
In a statement Saturday, PTUZ president, Takavafira Zhou, said the teachers welfare group was not amused by government’s approach to dealing with long delayed end of year examinations in the midst of the unprecedented health calamity.
“We urge the government and the Ministry of Education to seriously consider a broad-based plan to save lives of teachers and pupils,” Zhou said.
“Several families have lost their loved ones. As a country, we have lost prominent leaders of repute.
“As PTUZ, we would like to express our heartfelt condolences to several families who have lost relatives and the country at large.
“We however note with regret a lackadaisical approach taken in the Ministry of Primary and Secondary Education over Covid-19 pandemic as if teachers are of no account or immune to Covid-19.
“The writing of 2020 examinations has continued unabated as if all is well in schools.”
Due to coronavirus, the Zimbabwe Schools Examination Council (ZIMSEC) is struggling to get last year’s Ordinary and Advanced Level tests done and dusted.
Under normal circumstances, exams kick start in October and end in mid-November.
However, it is a different story this year as the exams started December last year and are expected to end mid-February this year.
Late last year, there was an outbreak of the deadly virus with John Tallach High School being a hotspot among schools after recording 184 cases.
Chinhoyi High School recorded 57 cases while Matopo High had 10 of their students testing positive.