Next year’s examination classes returned to school yesterday under careful supervision and strict adherence to regulations aimed at controlling the spread of Covid-19.
Reports from across the country indicated that Grade Six, Form Three and Form Five students were being screened and sanitised before entering classrooms.
At most schools, learners could be seen wearing face masks as part of the precautionary measures with some bemoaning the shortage of teachers in schools.
“We went back to school today, but we dismissed early because teachers did not show up. Tomorrow we are going back again and hopefully we will commence our lessons,” said one student from Glen View 1 High School who declined to be named.
Another student from Glen Norah Number Two High School said every student was observing safety measures to prevent the spread of Covid-19, but also decried the shortage of teachers.
In Masvingo students who are sitting their final examinations next year started classes across the province amid high levels compliance to Covid-19 regulations.
While the number of returning day scholars in both primary and high school was high at most schools, numbers for boarders remained largely subdued though there was optimism the figures would rise with some adopting a wait and see approach.
At Victoria, Ndarama, Mucheke and Masvingo Christian School, most learners were in attendance.
Victoria High Head Mr Engelbert Chimbwari said things ran smoothly on the first day for the second line of returning students.
“We had a very high number of day scholars who reported for classes though the number of boarders remains low. Maybe they first want to study the situation,” said Mr Chimbwari.
Provincial Education Mr Zedious Chitiga said according to reports gleaned from schools, everything went on well with most schools geared for the return of more students.
In Mutare, most learners were back in class for phase two of the reopening of schools. Schools continued to observe Covid-19 regulations, providing hand washing and sanitising facilities for learners as well as enforcing the wearing of masks and social distancing.
For boarding schools in Manicaland, attendance by learners in most institutions was high although a few of the teachers did not report for duty.
Manicaland Anglican Diocese education secretary Mr Tendai Mandiringa said 80 percent of their staff in boarding schools had reported for duty and lessons were going on well.
“Everything is going smoothly in our boarding schools where 80 percent of our teaching staff is at work. Almost all our learners under phase two are also back in class,” he said.
Schools in Matabeleland South opened as planned under the second phase with authorities saying they were yet to get reports on any untoward incidents.
However, Matopo High School authorities said they would open on Wednesday after there was a false alarm on a Form Four pupil who was suspected to have succumbed to Covid-19.
The issue has later cleared the Ministry of Health and Child Care which said the Covid-19 scare was a hoax and that the pupil had tested negative for the condition.
Mashonaland West provincial education director, Mr Gabriel Mhumha said schools re-opened after receiving support from Government and private players to secure personal protective equipment (PPE), including infrared thermometers and sanitisers.
He said more than 80 percent of the students were present in school.