SCHOOLS opened smoothly yesterday for all classes for the first time in two years since Covid-19 disrupted normal learning.
The new normal spawned by Covid-19 resulted in a phased opening of schools for two years while classes were divided in two to halve the number of children and reduce contact as per the protocols of the coronavirus pandemic.
While most boarding learners travelled back to school on Monday, a handful returned yesterday with schools including St Marks and Bradley observed ferrying learners in Harare at an open space near City Library.
Teachers also turned up for lessons in most schools across the country as they ignored calls from some unions to down tools.
In strict observance of Covid-19 regulations, at Dzivaresekwa High School, Nhamburiko Primary School, Mufakose 2 High, Harare High and Maranatha Primary School, learners, who had face masks, washed their hands and had their temperatures checked before gaining access to their classes.
The situation was the same nationwide as Government remains on high-alert against the global contagion that is still much a threat notwithstanding successes registered so far in beating it back.
Ministry of Primary and Secondary Education spokesperson Mr Taungana Ndoro yesterday said everything has returned to normal and the expectation is that learning will continue without any interruptions.
“Schools opened for the second term smoothly amid strict adherence to Covid-19 protocols using the standard guidelines for the management and prevention of Covid-19 at all learning institutions. Learners turned up in numbers as well as teachers,” he said.
“The worst is over and we expect to develop and contribute to the socio-economic development of the nation through a robust relevant quality education delivery system.”
On his part, Zimbabwe Teachers Association chief executive officer Dr Sifiso Ndlovu welcomed the uninterrupted re-opening of schools.
“The opening is good in the sense that we are going to see children having a full tutorial. The encouragement is that as much as possible children should have full classes as opposed to half classes and alternating.
“This means that we have also contained the plague of the Covid-19 pandemic which is a positive development,” he said.
The umbrella body representing teachers’ unions, the Zimbabwe Confederation of Public Sector Trade Unions, through its spokesperson, Mr David Dzatsunga, said by close of business yesterday, things were normal on the teaching fraternity side as there was no indication on the ground to confirm any anomaly.
“Our members from the education union have not yet indicated any issue of any sort,” he said.
Some private schools however, were turning away learners over school fees.
In Marondera, schools opened on a high note with most pupils turning up and ready to learn. At Cherutombo High, Nyameni Secondary and Primary school and Marondera High, there was a huge turnout of both learners and teachers.