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Latwell Nyangu, H-Metro Reporter

The Ministry of Higher and Tertiary Education has with immediate effect suspended all face to face lectures  in all tertiary education institutions.

This follows the daily escalating of Covid-19 cases in the country.

In a statement, the Ministry’s permanent secretary, Fanuel Tagwira said:

“We have noted that there is a spike of Covid-19 cases in the country, making it increasingly difficult to keep the disease out of our institutions.

“In view of the current circumstance, the Ministry is requesting you to focus on 100 percent online teaching and learning to avoid [physical contact of individuals.

“For those areas where online lectures cannot be conducted, we have to wait until such a time when the situation improves and the statistics of infected people become predictable.”

Added Tagwira:

“It is now observed that Covid-19 cases are escalating daily and this may put the lives of students and members of staff in our institutions at high risk.

“In view of the foregoing, the Ministry is hereby directing that all tertiary education institutions, with immediate effect, suspend face to face lectures on campus and continue with e-learning.”

The Ministry, however, stated that final year students should continue with lectures.

“Please take note that, final year students who are sitting for their examinations, should be allowed to continue and later switch on to the 100 percent online lectures on completion of the examinations.

“The Ministry is working flat out to ensure institutions are well resources with the necessary infrastructure to promote online teaching and learning.”

“In this regard all students should vacate halls of residence by Friday, July 24.

“The Ministry is working flat out to ensure all institutions are adequately resourced with the necessary infrastructure to facilitate access to quality e-learning,” said Tagwira.

Government had set the reopening of universities from June 1, but only final year students were allowed to be on campus with the rest learning remotely using virtual and distance education and most activity online.

There have been debates over the reopening of schools where the Government had proposed the phased reopening of primary and secondary schools set for July 28, although Zimbabwe School Examinations Council (Zimsec) June examinations ran from June 29 to July 22.

Only Form Six, Form Four and Grade Seven classes were set to resume at the end of July with Lower Six, Form Three and Grade 6 pupils coming in three weeks later.