Schools in Zimbabwe closed indefinitely; Covid or teachers strike?

January 3, 2022
| Report Focus News

There is confusion and growing speculation with regards reasons why schools have remained closed in Zimbabwe.

Teachers had threatened to go on strike over poor pay.

Observers say president Mnangagwa’s declaration that schools will remain indefinitely closed, which came hours after the ministry of primary and secondary education published the school calendar which stated a January 10 opening.

However, Churches, nightclubs and restaurants have been allowed to remain open.

The question is why allow churches and bars to open yet shutdown schools? The education of our children is much more important we are in a global pandemic no doubt but schools can’t be shut down indefinitely. Said one parent that spoke to Report Focus News.

Another parent also lamented the closure and disruptions within the education system in Zimbabwe, drawing comparisons with other countries in the region. She said “Zimbabwe has shut down schools more than any of its neighbours and perhaps we should look into how we can facilitate for a none disruptive way of implementing our schools curriculum and not affect the education of our children.”

The schools will all be closed indefinitely with exception of Form 4 and Upper Sixth pupils whose exams spilled over into 2022. They return to school on January 3.

Mnangagwa cited rising Covid-19 deaths as he also extended Zimbabwe’s level 2 lockdown by another two weeks.

“With the exception of examination classes which resume classes as announced by the responsible ministry, the general school calendar is hereby delayed until further notice,” Mnangagwa said.

Education ministry announced that Form 1 classes would be delayed until Grade 7 results were released, while setting a date of January 10 for the opening of the first term. Mnangagwa appeared to reverse that with his televised address.

Mnangagwa noted that Zimbabwe had seen 142 deaths up to New Year’s Eve since the start of the year.

“The last three days were especially dire, with some 2,000 new infections and 30 deaths recorded daily. Clearly, our nation is in the grips of an Omicron variant-induced fourth wave, whose curve we continue to struggle to flatten,” he added.

He urged Zimbabweans to “without delay proceed to get vaccinated” and said his government would avail booster shots for the fully vaccinated.