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Schools reopening imminent

by Staff reporter
24 Aug 2021 at 06:28hrs | Views
THE Ministry of Primary and Secondary Education has commenced a community outreach programme in Bulawayo to prepare for the imminent reopening of schools. Running under the theme "Community outreach for enhanced inclusivity: Enhancing learner diversity in schools", the programme is set to run up to September 3.

Schools have been closed since early June but the Education Ministry working with other organisations and Ministries that which include Childline, Department of Social Welfare, National Aids Council, Ministry of Sports, Culture and Youth affairs, Bulawayo City Council, Zimbabwe Teachers' Association has been working to ensure that as soon President Mnangagwa announces the reopening date, locals schools would be ready.

Bulawayo Provincial Education Director (PED), Mrs Olicah Kaira said the ministry is working behind the scenes so that every child has access to education when schools open.

Mrs Kaira said as part of the community outreach, the ministry is explaining issues and education programmes that are available such as Covid-19 prevention protocols and the Basic Education Assistant Module (BEAM). She said BEAM now caters for examination fees for Grade Seven, Form Four and Form Six learners whose parents and guardians face financial challenges. She also said children facing problems in accessing national documents such as birth certificates should approach the Education Ministry.

"We are reaching out to the community in the comfort of their homes and offices through an integrated approach of community service fairs. We want to reach out to our communities in Bulawayo and give them key messages involving education. We want all children to return to school when the date is announced. We want to promote an environment whereby no barrier can stop a child from going to school. We want to remind communities about programmes and initiatives that the Ministry of Primary and Secondary Education has put in place to assist school going children," she said.

"There are programmes like BEAM which seeks to assist all children facing financial challenges in the payment of school fees. I encourage learners under such circumstances to register with BEAM. We also seek to address situations whereby learners fail to sit for examinations because of money problems."

Mrs Kaira said children without documentation such as birth certificates and national identity cards should liaise with the ministry for assistance.

"As we know that it takes a village to raise a child, the ministry is not working alone. We are in partnership with civil society organisations and other line ministries, so we are also reminding the community that those children without birth certificates and national identification cards should register with the ministry so that we then liaise and assist them in getting those documents," she added.

She encouraged parents to assist their children to participate in the ongoing e-learning programmes.

"As a province we are encouraging children to join the e-learning programme through WhatsApp, Telegram and Google Classroom. Learners doing Grade Seven, Form Three and Form Four are encouraged to log into  They are going to find content that has already been loaded to that website which will assist them to do their work while they are at home," said Mrs Kaira.

"I also want to remind parents that when we return to school, it is not all the children that are going to be in the classroom at the same time. We are going to follow a decongested school attendance. Children are going to follow alternative days reporting for duty, we are doing so because our classroom space is not adequate for Covid-19 protocols and regulations. When children remain home while others are at school, we encourage them to engage in radio lessons, television lessons and other online platforms."

She said the ministry is also working on the rehabilitation of boreholes in schools to ensure that learners have safe and clean water for drinking.

Source - the herald