By Ndafadza Madanha

GOVERNMENT is intensifying efforts to ensure that public schools are prepared to deal with the Covid19 pandemic when they reopen next month.

Schools are expected to open next month after closing prematurely in the face of Covid19.

According to Deputy Minister of Primary and Secondary Education Edgar Moyo, the preparations involve training headmasters and teachers on how to handle Covid19 cases.

“The issue of preparedness is an ongoing exercise.  Let me preface my response by saying that the Government has directed that examinations be written and that schools be opened in a phased manner and our responsibility is to ensure that by the time school children get to school, they are ready,” Minister Moyo said.

“There are a number of things that we are doing.  First of all, the training of school headmasters has started and teachers are being trained on how to handle covid-19 issues.  We have issued circulars to school heads on what they have to do in terms of preparation for reopening of schools.

“We have already launched the making of masks, sanitizers and so forth by different schools, and I can cite Mashonaland West which is currently producing an average of 53 000 masks per week.  Those are some of the efforts towards the reopening of schools”.

The Minister said his ministry is also working with the Ministry of Health to ensure that health protocols related to Covid19 are followed.

He said that the Ministry of Finance is working to ensure that procurement of all outstanding Covid19 materials is done.

“In the case of water, we know that sanitizers are expensive to produce and to procure, therefore we are encouraging our schools to use soap wherever they are.  Most schools have water within their premises, however, there are others that have water outside the school premises and water has to be carted into the school for the purpose of that.

We are working together with the Ministry of Health and Child Care on the protocols to be followed. Independent schools will also appraise the Ministry on their preparedness. Our Government schools which are headed by the National Association of Secondary Heads (NASH) and the National Association of Primary Heads (NAPH) have also written to us that they are almost ready.  All that we are waiting for is that Treasury complements those efforts so that the procurements of outstanding preparedness issues are addressed.” 



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