WOZA Cautious Ahead Schools Opening

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By Bulawayo Correspondent

FEMALE pressure group, Women of Zimbabwe Arise (WOZA) has embarked on a consultation process in the Matabeleland region focusing on Covid-19 prevention guidelines.

Two weeks ago, the government announced that Zimbabwean students under Cambridge examination classes will resume schooling on 14 September while lessons for the Zimbabwe School Examinations Council (ZIMSEC) examinations classes for Grade 7, Form 4 and 6 will resume on 28 September.

Announcing the opening dates, Education Minister Cain Mathema said government had put in place adequate measures to ensure that the schools reopened safely in the proposed phases without risking a spike in Covid-19 infections.

WOZA has taken up the challenge is assisting both rural and urban communities to observe the government guidelines ahead of the reopening of schools.

“WOZA is currently on an urban and rural Matabeleland outreach programme sharing the coronavirus guidelines under which schools may reopen and adhere to precautionary measures against Covid-19,” the Jennie Williams-led organisation said in a statement.

“The consultations entail engaging parents and community leaders but also learners themselves who have a right to participate in all processes in keeping with the best interests of the child.”

The pressure group argued some schools especially those in marginalised communities were not ready for reopening as there was limited access to water.

“WOZA will argue the pandemic has affected each school disproportionally. In many communities, there are different dynamics with different levels of marginalisation.

“Many schools have very poor infrastructure and access to water is compromised in urban Bulawayo as well as rural areas, increasing vulnerabilities. It is also safe to say that Covid-19 has exposed and exacerbated inequalities in our education system.”

WOZA said on Tuesday this week, it will interact in Bulawayo with the Parliamentary Committee on Primary and Secondary Education, parents, and students regarding the reopening of schools and their readiness to write national examinations.