Mashudu Netsianda, Senior Reporter
SCHOOLS will re-open for the 2021 calendar on a phased approach with examination classes commencing on March 15 while the rest of learners will resume classes on March 22.
Teachers for examination classes are required to report for duty on March 10 while the rest are supposed to be at their workplaces by March 17.
Schools closed on December 18 after briefly opening last year. They were set to re-open on January 4 this year before Government indefinitely postponed their opening following a spike in Covid-19 cases.
In her post-Cabinet briefing yesterday, Information, Publicity and Broadcasting Services Minister Monica Mutsvangwa said there shall be rotational school attendance in classes where learners cannot exercise social distancing.
“Cabinet agreed that the school calendar for 2021 starts on a slightly phased approach, with the examination classes opening on 15th March and the rest on 22nd March 2021.
“Teachers for examination classes should therefore report for duty on 10th of March, and the rest on 17th March, 2021,” she said.
Minister Mutsvangwa said on the days when learners are not at school, they will be engaged through strategies such as open distance learning and e-learning with relevant modules already under production.
“Among the catch-up strategies, all continuing classes will start with 2020 work. Syllabi have been compressed to facilitate accelerated coverage. Both Primary and Secondary school levels will follow three levels of accelerated compressed syllabus coverage,” said Minister Mutsvangwa.
Cabinet also received an update on the country’s response to the Covid-19 outbreak, which was presented by the Minister of Defence and War Veterans Affairs Oppah Muchinguri-Kashiri as chairperson of the Ad-Hoc Inter-Ministerial Task Force on Covid-19.
As at March 1, Zimbabwe’s cumulative Covid-19 cases stood at 36 115, with 32 905 recoveries and 1 463 deaths.
“It is noted that the positivity rate is declining, a trend attributable to preventive measures being enforced across the country. It is in line with this decline that His Excellency the President has now reviewed the lockdown measures,” said Minister Mutsvangwa.
She said Cabinet received an update on the Emergency Road Rehabilitation Programme, which was presented by Vice President Constantino Chiwenga who chairs the Enhanced Cabinet Committee on Emergency Preparedness and Disaster Management.
The update came against the background of the massive damage to infrastructure across the country from the ongoing heavy rains.
The country has a total road network of 98 049 km, distributed among the four categories of road authorities and these include the Department of Roads, the District Development Fund (DDF), urban local authorities; and rural district councils.
“The rehabilitation programme is targeting the following categories: regional trunk roads linking Zimbabwe with neighbouring countries, major highways connecting the main cities; major arteries in urban local authorities, rural access roads and bridges and other drainage structures weakened or destroyed by flooding,” she said.
The Ministry of Transport and Infrastructural Development will lead the processes on the identification and prioritisation of road infrastructure in need of rehabilitation, identification of scope of works, outlining of key activities and deliverables; development programme of works, bills of quantities and cash-flow plans, equipment mobilisation and procurement of labour and materials; and project management, supervision and certification of completed works.
The Ministry of Finance and Economic Development has already released $480 million towards the Programme. [email protected]