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Zimbabwe govt lifts ban on boarding school visits

by Staff reporter
29 Jun 2023 at 06:28hrs | Views
THE Ministry of Primary and Secondary Education has lifted a ban against parents and guardians visiting children learning in boarding schools but retained standard operation procedures to curb the spread of respiratory infections in learning institutions.

Following the outbreak of Covid-19 in 2020, Government banned parents and guardians from visiting children in boarding schools.

The Ministry also adopted various measures including mandatory wearing of masks, social distancing among other measures in schools.

The measures were credited for making schools safe when they reopened, following prolonged closures due to the threat posed by the pandemic.

In a Ministry's Circular Minute Number 5 of 2023 directed to Chief Directors; Provincial Education Directors, District Schools Inspectors, Heads of Primary and Secondary Schools, Principals of Independent Colleges Staff and Teacher's Associations, Association of Trust Schools and Church Education Secretaries, Primary and Secondary Education Permanent Secretary Mrs Tumisang Thabela said the ministry continues to align to pre-Covid-19 times hence the need to lift the schools visits ban.

She said the decision is premised on a Cabinet decision which said the country was no longer treating Covid-19 as a public health emergency of  international concern in line with the World Health Organisation recommendation.

"Reference is made to the Post-Cabinet Briefing on the 9 May 2023 which stated that the World Health Organisation (WHO) had released a statement indicating that COVID-19 no longer constitutes as a Public Health Emergency of International Concern," she said.

"In line with the Government position, on 9 June 2023 the Ministry of Health and Child Care issued a circular allowing the lifting of COVID-19 containment measures which included restriction of both local and foreign travel, home quarantine, vaccination of citizens 12 years and above, screening of travelers, isolation of cases, supervision of burials, disinfection of premises and otherstandard operating procedures which assisted the country in reducing the spread and impact of the pandemic.

"In view of the foregoing the Ministry of Primary and Secondary Education has revised its position on parental visits to children at boarding schools. With immediate effect, heads of schools are allowed to resume the previous practice of organised parental visits to schools."

Cabinet struck off mandatory wearing of masks and presenting of PCR tests at the country's port of entries for visitors coming into the country.

Mrs Thabela said the ministry will maintain temperature screening, strict hand-washing, availability of clean water, and high standards of sanitation and hygiene at every learning institution as permanent measures  for mitigating against any communicable and influenza like diseases in schools.

She said as directed by Cabinet, schools should continue with the vaccination programme.

Source - The Chronicle