Enough teachers are reporting for duty to cope with the examination forms already back in class in the phased schools reopening.
In order to minimise the risk of Covid-19 infections, Government directed the reopening of examination classes first, and teachers who are supposed to take care of these pupils have been reporting for duty.
Primary and Secondary Education Minister Cain Mathema said an average of 29 percent of teachers have been reporting for duty countrywide, which is enough.
There have been threats of industrial action from teachers’ unions to apply pressure in salary negotiations.
In response, Minister Mathema acknowledged that teachers have their concerns, but said the low turnout was as a result of the phased reopening approach.
“It is correct that a number of teachers are not at work. On average about 29 percent are going to work. Remember only examination classes are back at school and those teachers going to work suffice the job at hand.
“The teachers have their concerns and Government is addressing them. I want to assure learners and parents that exams will go on as scheduled. Learning will not be disrupted.
“The first phase has resumed classes safely and we are now preparing for the next phase as well as putting in place measures to protect those already at school,” said Minister Mathema.
Public Service, Labour and Social Welfare Minister Professor Paul Mavima said Government held a meeting with teachers’ union representatives on Monday.
Prof Mavima said the economy is recording some positive stability and improvements on the macroeconomic front which the country and the civil service cannot afford to disrupt by demands that torpedo the progression.
After yesterday’s Cabinet meeting, Information, Publicity and Broadcasting Services Minister Monica Mutsvangwa updated the public on schools and on the civil service salary negotiations.
“With regard to the re-opening of schools the Ministry of Primary and Secondary Education is monitoring the situation and updating the Public Service Commission daily, while awaiting the outcome of the ongoing National Joint Negotiating Council talks.”
“Priority training of teaching and non-teaching staff on Covid-19 infection prevention and control measures for phase 1 is underway in all the provinces, while logistical arrangements for phase 2 staff training are being organised.”
Minister Mutsvangwa said the Government has come up with guidelines to ensure effective care and support for both teaching and learning, with effective catch-up learning and remedial teaching, in preparation for public examinations.
On the issue of international travel, Minister Mutsvangwa said citizens can travel outside the country as long as they meet requirements of the country they want to visit.
Minister Mutsvangwa said Cabinet noted that all three international airports now had laboratory facilities that can produce PCR Covid-19 test results within two hours.
“With regard to laboratory facilities, Cabinet noted that Lancet Laboratories commissioned its laboratory at Victoria Falls International Airport, and pledges to deliver PCR results within two hours for both arriving and departing travellers. The Robert Gabriel Mugabe and Joshua Mqabuko Nkomo International Airports have similar private and public testing facilities.”
“The taskforce will be dispatching teams to the country’s land ports and airports of entry to assess their readiness in handling the large numbers associated with the complete opening up of the country to domestic and international flights,” said Minister Mutsvangwa.