Schools re-open as COVID-19 cases continue to decline

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By Xinhua

Zimbabwe on Tuesday reopened schools for the second term, in hopes of restoring a normal school calendar in which pupils will be attending classes five days a week as COVID-19 infections and related deaths have kept declining in the country over the past few months.

After the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, pupils were attending classes for up to three days a week as authorities sought to decongest classrooms and curb the spread of the virus. The COVID-19 infections and related deaths have been declining over the past few months, prompting the government to allow the schools to return to normal teaching schedules.

Pupils had a three-week break after the first term which ended in early April instead of the usual four-week holiday because the government wants them to catch up on lost time during national lockdowns.

The Ministry of Primary and Secondary Education spokesperson Taungana Ndoro told the media that schools would adhere to standard operating procedures to ensure a safe environment for pupils.

“We now have a five-day school week as we are no longer alternating classes, but we will still be adhering to the standard operating procedures to make sure that we have a safe environment for our learners,” he said.

He urged parents with children aged 12 years and above to allow them to be vaccinated against COVID-19.

“The second vaccination blitz has started and we urge all parents whose children did not get vaccinated the last term to give their consent for their children to get the shot,” he said. “This will help us to minimize the spread of COVID-19 in schools particularly as we are going into the winter season.”