St Davids' Bonda Anglican Church
St Davids' Bonda Anglican Church

Harare – In response to a spike in Covid-19 cases in schools, the government of Zimbabwe will be introducing daily Covid-19 tests at schools, ENN reports.

“As the winter season is approaching, the success of the preventative measures against Covid-19 among learners depends heavily on the leaders of each school head as well as the co-operation among teachers, learners, their parents or guardians and communities at large”, said Cain Mathema, who is the Zimbabwe Minister of Primary and Secondary Education Cain Mathema as he challenged school heads to strictly adhere to standard operating procedures against the pandemic. 

The development comes on the back of reports that at least 120 learners at St David’s Bonda High school in Manicaland province had tested positive for Covid-19. Over the last 6 months, several Zimbabwean schools have recorded positive Covid-19 cases, including Goromonzi and Waddilove High Schools in Mashonaland East province, Prince Edward High School in Harare and John Tallach boarding Secondary School in Matabeleland North, to mention a few.

The disaster preparedness of Zimbabwe’s government schools remains poor as the Government remains at salary loggerheads with its schools teachers, who are the de-facto enforcers of standard operating procedures in government schools. Consequently, students are exposed to the pandemic, so are their parents and the nation at large. Again, the capacitation of schools to prevent the spread of Covid-19 is a government responsibility, with the support of other stakeholders, including teachers, learners, guardians and communities at large.  It remains to be seen how Government will capacitate schools to conduct daily Covid-19 tests, over and above the daily screenings that have not been fully implemented as teachers cite incapacitation.       

“The ministry, hereby requests the enhanced contribution of responsible authorities, teachers, learners, school development committees around schools and all stakeholders towards prevention of the spread of Covid-19,” added Mathema as the Government gears up its surveillance to curb the spread of the coronavirus at schools this winter. He also implored on headmasters to guard against complacency at schools by ensuring that students wear clean masks and exercise regular hand washing and social distancing.