The government of Zimbabwe has revised dates for closure of schools and tertiary institutions. In a letter signed by the President, the new dates for the closure of schools and tertiary institutions is now 24 March 2020.
The president has suggested that even though Zimbabwe is still to record a positive corona virus case, it is prudent for the government to take maximum precautionary measures to safe guard the safety of the public.
The government has been pressurized by parents and trade unions for putting the life of students at risk by not allowing them to go home earlier as the closing dates were already drawing closer.
The first term of 2020 is likely to go without students being given end of term reports as the teachers have not been given enough time to mark tests and prepare reports. Tertiary institutions are likely to suspend examinations that usually happen around April and May.
The government is trying by all means not to disrupt the day to day business of organisations and companies as any disruption is costly to the government. Closures of companies owned by the government weighs heavy on the treasury as the civil service will still need to be paid whilst they are home.
The new dates have been communicated through a statement below:
NEW DATES FOR CLOSING OF SCHOOLS AND TERTIARY INSTITUTIONS
Following concerns from parents, as well representations by the educational sector, Government has decided that all schools and tertiary institutions (colleges, polytechnics and universities) will now close on Tuesday, 24 March, 2020, as a precaution against the outbreak and spread of Coronavirus.
While Zimbabwe has not recorded any cases of the virus to date, Government has thought it prudent to be on the side of caution, more so in respect of teaching unions where human concentration and contact is expectedly high. The decision is part of the general precautionary measures the country is taking in light of the worldwide outbreak and rapid spread of the Coronavirus.
As I announced on Tuesday, 17. March, 2020, Government will advise on dates for the reopening of all teaching institutions in the country once the threat of the virus is adjudged to have receded.
The date of 24. March should allow for an orderly closure of our institutions, and for parents to arrange for the safe travel of pupils and students.
Emmerson Dambudzo Mnangagwa PRESIDENT OF ZIMBABWE.