Zim universities, colleges to reopen July 13 – Minister

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By Anna Chibamu

ZIMBABWEAN universities and colleges are set to reopen July 13 following three months of continuous closure due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

This was revealed Monday by Higher and Tertiary Education minister Amon Murwira while giving oral evidence before parliament’s Higher and Tertiary Education committee.

Murwira expressed worry over the country’s escalating numbers of Covid-19 cases but remained confident over government strategies to curb the spread of the disease.

The minister told MPs students would be safe after government has taken steps to ensure masks and sanitisers were accessible to learners.

He was quick to say government would not hesitate to close the institutions again if problems arose.

“Tertiary education institutions that include polytechnic colleges, teachers’ colleges and industrial training colleges will open on the 13th of July, 2020 starting with final year students.

“Numbers (Covid-19 cases) are increasing yes but statistics have shown that most of these are imported and are in quarantine centres.

“I am less worried because cases are contained but all we are doing is to make sure preventive measures are followed,” said Murwira.

The minister added, “Our strategy as a country is working. We have to be careful, we cannot stick to one strategy. We should be prepared to close colleges if anything goes wrong. We are however confident of what we are doing right now.

“We are not sticking to one goal as we are also planning to continue if our strategy works.”

The minister gave credit to students who have taken the initiative to produce sanitisers and some Covid-19 materials in 16 languages for the whole country.

According to Murwira, Midlands State University produced Covid-19 material in the form of booklets (700 000) in less than two weeks through government assistance whilst Harare Institute of Technology (HIT) has so far made three ventilators.