Schools to produce PPEs

Bongani Ndlovu, Chronicle Correspondent
THE Government yesterday launched the Schools Covid-19 Response Programme, where schools will manufacture personal protective equipment (PPEs) such as masks and sanitisers to fight against Covid-19.

Already, some schools in the country are producing PPEs, while others are expected to start soon.

The venture is expected to ease the pressure of procuring protective material for 136 000 teachers and 4,5 million pupils countrywide.

It dovetails with the new curriculum that entails teaching children practical life skills alongside academic lessons.

Minister of Primary and Secondary Education Cain Mathema, during the launch of the Schools Covid-19 Response Programme at Chikangwe High School in Mashonaland West yesterday, said while the call had gone to all schools in the 10 provinces, Mashonaland West Province took the lead and started manufacturing at Chikangwe High School.

Minister Mathema said the fight against Covid-19 required everyone’s effort.

“The virus we are seeking to combat is a vicious one, and as we fight it, it requires all hands-on deck. It is not a fight that can be left to a few, we will not succeed. The fight against Covid-19 is everyone’s fight for survival.

“Today we witness some schools’ response in this fight. A number of our schools are producing sanitisers, masks and detergents, all of them approved by the Ministry of Health and Child Care,” said the Minister.

He commended the Ministry of Health and Childcare for partnering his ministry in the programme including the School Health Policy that was launched a few years.

“Through this partnership, education is serving its true purpose of meeting the needs of the communities,” said Minister Mathema. “Allow me to congratulate all schools nationally that have started on the manufacturing of protective equipment against the coronavirus, including Chikangwe High School which pioneered this affirmative Covid-19 Response Programme of producing masks and sanitisers.”

Turning to when schools are supposed to open for the second term, Minister Mathema said his office stands guided by President Emmerson Mnangagwa.

He urged Zimbabweans to disregard information on social media on the issue as it was false.

“Schools will open when the evidence indicates that it’s prudent to do so, and that announcement will be made only by the President, HE, Cde E.D. Mnangagwa. Appropriate measures will be put in place to make sure that there is no further infection that will take place. The Ministry is working flat out on mitigatory measures during the coronavirus period as well as on the preparations for back-to-school,” said Minister Mathema.

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