by Rutendo Jiri
Government is set to open schools and the tourism sector, a cabinet Minister has said.
Speaking during the 33rd Post Cabinet briefing in the capital yesterday, the Minister of Information, Publicity and Broadcasting Services, Senator Monica Mutsvangwa said the opening of schools and the tourism sector followed recommendations submitted to Cabinet by the Experts Advisory Committee (EAC).
The EAC noted that the effects of the COVID-19 virus had not peaked as previously predicted it would in the country, hence a notable decrease in the number of new infections owed to Government’s strict lockdown enforcement.
Minister Mutsvangwa said the opening of schools would be done in phases under strict COVID-19 regulations.
“Schools will be opened in a phased manner. Phase 1 will open on September 28; this will entail Grade 7, Forms 4 and 6. Phase 2 will open on 26 October 2020, and will involve Grade 6, Form 3 and 5. Finally, Phase 3 will open on 9 November 2020 covering the rest of the leaners which covers ECD A and B, Grade 1,2,3,4, Form 1 and 2,” she said.
Meanwhile, strict COVID-19 measures are being put in place to ensure safe learning environments.
“Progress has been made on the comprehensive logistical plan for the coordinated accelerated completion of the schools WASHES project; the supply and distribution of PPE, hygiene kits, disinfectants and infrared thermometers to all public schools.
There will also be dedicated ZUPCO buses to ferry learners to school for examinations,” she said.
The availability of reliable and affordable ZUPCO buses comes as a relief to parents with children sitting for examinations.
Minister Mutsvangwa also said that Government was opening up hotels and the tourism sector following the resumption of international flights scheduled for the 1st of October 2020.
Speaking to this publication on the proposed opening up of schools and the tourism sector, Political and Economic Analyst, Elton Ziki said the opening of schools would quickly remove children off the streets and the tourism sector would help the country generate foreign currency.
“As a parent I also welcome the move by Government to open schools as this will quickly remove our children off the streets and see them back in class. The re-opening of the tourism sector will also be a boost to the country’s much needed foreign currency,” he said.