Teachers and students are set for a new school environment that needs them to conform to strict Covid-19 rules and regulations as stipulated by the Ministry of Health. Customs such as hugs, handshakes, sharing of desks amongst other things to be put away. Ministry of Primary and Secondary Education has released a Mandatory Standard Operating Procedures (SOP) designed to guide schools as they prepare for reopening.

Break and lunchtime will be staggered to prevent crowding by learners while sporting activities will be banned when schools reopen for exam-writing classes next week Monday.

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In the past pupils or teachers who were not feeling well could attend classes but in the new normal this will be prohibited as the Ministry of Primary and Secondary Education has adopted a stay at the home policy for those feeling unwell until they recover.

Covid-19 is known to be more deadly among those with underlying diseases, hence schools will now be required to keep records for teachers and pupils with underlying conditions without stigmatizing them. A maximum of 35 pupils will be permitted in a single classroom as learners and teachers will be required to maintain a physical or social distance of one metre at the school premises.

Examination classes are expected to reopen on Monday for those sitting for Cambridge examinations while Zimbabwe School Examinations Council (Zimsec) candidates will reopen on September 28. Zimsec public examinations will start on December 1, as Government is employing a combination of face-to-face and distance learning to bridge the gap that has seen learners being out of school for five months.

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Temperature checks will be conducted while schools will be mandated to have temporary isolation rooms for those found with high temperatures before they are referred to health facilities. “In line with the Zimbabwe School Health Policy, every school should be linked to a specific clinic or team from the Ministry of Health and Child Care service providers. Through this system, schools should develop effective communication with their allocated health teams to facilitate the care of unwell learners and staff,” read the document.

In case a pupil or staff member contract Covid-19 or become a contact of a positive person they will be required to self isolate for two weeks, before being cleared to return to school.

Source : Chronicles



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