Vice President of Zimbabwe who is also the national chairperson of the inter-ministerial taskforce on Covid-19, Honourable Kembo Mohadi has paid tribute to the Ministry of Primary and Secondary Education (MoPSE) for rising to the occasion in the national effort to combat the Covid-19 pandemic through the Covid-19 Schools Response Plan.
The plan, which is premised on encouraging schools to venture into the production of personal protective equipment (PPE) such as masks, sanitizers and other hand hygiene items, has been embraced by schools throughout the country that a number are now able to produce PPE for local use and for sale.
In his address at the occasion to assess progress in the implementation of the Covid-19 Schools Response Plan, at Ruware Primary School in Marondera, VP Mohadi hailed the partnership between the Ministry of Health and Child care (MoHCC) and the MoPSE which has resulted in the production of quality PPE by schools in Mashonaland East Province.
“It is pleasing to note that the MoHCC has given solid support to schools which has resulted in the production of quality PPE in Mashonaland East,” said VP Mohadi adding that there was now need to double efforts as the date for re-opening schools draws closer.
He also called on the private sector to partner schools in the production of PPE noting that schools had a high potential for impactful service owing to the fact that they are found in every community throughout the country.
Testifying to the quality of PPE produced by schools in the province, Provincial Medical Director Dr. Simukai Zizhou informed the VP that his department had purchased in excess of 10000 masks produced by the host school and Chinyika Primary from Goromonzi, for use by frontline health personnel.
Meanwhile, the Permanent Secretary, Mrs Tumisang Thabela took advantage of the occasion to meet PEDs, DSIs, School Heads and teachers to inform them on the steps being taken by the ministry to mitigate against the effects of the Covid-19 induced school closure and the preparations towards re-opening of schools now that the date had been set.
She noted the progress made through the Alternative Education programme which has culminated in the launch of radio lessons for the primary level among several other initiatives such as online lessons through Ruzivo and the VIAMO project providing lessons in Ndau.
The PS also informed the educators that training programmes will be rolled out in conjunction with the MoHCC to ensure teachers are well equipped to handle learners and the learning environment in view of the safety requirements for Covid-19 prevention in schools.
The government has set July 28 as the date for the start of the phased re-opening of schools with examination writing classes being the first to be allowed back.