By Simbarashe Fenton M
The reopening of schools have hit a stumbling block in Kwekwe as teachers hardly reported for duty on the opening day leaving children stranded, unattended and without proper Covid 19 protective resources.
Scores of schools in Kwekwe have, not warmed up to the decision by the Ministry of Primary and Secondary Education to resume learning after it was stopped when the National lockdown was enacted due to COVID 19 pandemic.
Zimbabwe Teachers Association (ZIMTA) declared its members incapacitated to report for duty. The union decried the lack of preparedness on the part of the ministry to protect both learners and teachers from Covid-19 with reports indicating that some schools are yet to receive the Covid-19 funds available by the government. The re-opening of schools came at a time teachers and civil servants struggle to fend for their families due to the poor salaries they get. Government is still engaged in negotiations with the workers unions without any possible chance of headway as inflation continues to erode the value of salaries.
“The truth is we cannot go back to work without money, we really need enough funds to take care of my family’s needs. As a single parent I have been affected by the lockdown big time. The other thing is our safety, my students, we need to be safe from Covid 19.There are no masks as promised…”. said a teacher whose identity cannot be brought out due to fear of getting in trouble with higher authorities.
Schools in Redcliff such as Rutendo High, Mafidhi Mnangagwa, Rutendo Primary School, RJ Davies Primary Schools to mention a few has seen school children on exam classes such as Grade 7,Form 4 and Upper 6 reporting to school and being stranded at the gates up to 11 am with no school staff or teachers in attendance.
Some schools in Mbizo and Redcliff had only the Headmaster, the Deputy and few members of staff reporting to duty and not conducting classes leaving pupils stranded.
When quizzed about the reopening of schools and the experience of the first day at school ,an Upper six student at Rutendo told this publication that both the Covid 19 pandemic lockdown and the opening school has highly affected him and his studies.
“The pandemic together with the national lockdown has changed a lot of things and affected my focus on school as a candidate, today I was hoping on getting back to serious business but we spent the whole day doing nothing as few teachers came, no one attended to us except the school head…”.he said.
The publication also discovered the lack of proper uniform among school children and different types of haircuts from bushy hair to Mohawk hairstyles showing the effects of the Covid 19 pandemic influenced national lockdown.