By Costa Nkomo
CABINET Tuesday ordered Zimbabwean schools operating without water to delay reopening until their situation has been rectified.
Local schools finally re-opened Monday starting with learners due to sit for final examinations this year.
This is part of a three phased schedule announced by government recently to reopen the country’s learning institutions following a six-month closure due to the Covid-19 pandemic.
The schools reopening programme has however been marred by a strike by teachers who are demanding US dollar denominated wages and protective clothing to discharge their duties.
In a routine post-cabinet media briefing Tuesday, Information Minister Monica Mutsvangwa said schools that were unable to provide water at their premises for purposes of promoting hygiene, a highly recommended strategy to fight Covid-19, will not open until they rectify the problem.
“Designated Temporary Isolation Holding Bays have been set up at each school for individuals requiring further health attention after screening,” Mutsvangwa said.
“There is mandatory logging and thermal screening at every school entry and exit point in order to enhance contact tracing and surveillance.
“Schools that are unable to provide water are being advised that they cannot re-open before the situation is rectified.”
Covid-19 has as of 29 September 2020, claimed over one million lives globally and in Zimbabwe alone, it has killed 228 people out over 7 500 cases recorded since March in the country.
Primary and Secondary education Minister Cain Mathema said he did not know the percentage of teachers turning up at schools on Monday and Tuesday, although a snap survey in Harare by NewZimbabwe.com established that there was low turnout by the educators.
Mathema also said as of 29 September, there was no single case of Covid-19 detected among the learners since June.
Meanwhile, Minister Mutsvangwa said government continues to engage teachers hoping they will heed its pleas to return to work.