by MARCUS MUSHONGA
HARARE, (CAJ News) –A UNION representing teachers in Zimbabwe has denounced the proposed reopening of schools at a time the country is experiencing a rising outbreak of the coronavirus.
The concern by the Progressive Teachers Union of Zimbabwe (PTUZ) follows reports the Ministry of Education expects to get permission from the government to reopen the schools, without explaining when that could happen.
“Our submission is that at the moment, it would be grossly irresponsible for the government to re-open schools at a time when it is not clear whether we are moving forward, backward or stationary in terms of managing the novel disease,” said PTUZ President, Raymond Majongwe.
He said the Southern African country was in a worse situation than when schools closed on March 24.
Majongwe said there were also many people returning from abroad.
“We do not know what danger they pose or whether they carry the coronavirus or not,” he said.
“Granted, some may have been tested but the fact that the number of asymptomatic cases is rising elsewhere in the world works glaringly against the early and haphazard opening of schools without taking a systematic, empirical, realistic and informative environmental scan.”
Zimbabwe declared a lockdown on March 29.
Since the lockdown it has officially registered 31 cases, four deaths and five recoveries to date.
PTUZ also noted some schools had been used as quarantine centres for returning Zimbabweans.
“There should be fumigation of these centres before they can be used by learners again,” Majongwe argued.
Zimbabwean schools usually reopen in the first week of May for the second term.
– CAJ News