THE Ministry of Primary and Secondary Education has started channelling the $350 million it received from Treasury to acquire more than four million face masks among other materials needed to prevent the spread of Covid-19 when schools open on 28 July.
Zimbabwe will open doors to schools to welcome examination classes — Grade Seven, Form Four and Form Six — more than three months after schools closed in March as part of efforts to combat the spread of Covid-19. This is part of a phased approach towards opening of schools that will see other classes opening in phases.
Primary and Secondary Education Deputy Minister Edgar Moyo told Sunday News yesterday that individual schools will not buy the face masks but they will be provided by the Government. Some schools are already making the masks but Cde Moyo said Government will buy the masks from the schools.
“Some circles have claimed that we are imploring schools to produce their own face masks which is far from the truth. All we are saying is that these schools produce the face masks then we purchase from them, so the schools can get money to fund their individual projects. As you might know the ministry got $350 million from Treasury a couple of weeks ago, which is the money that is being used to make all these procurements ahead of this phased reopening of schools. Yes, we are not as 100 percent ready as we would want but it’s an ongoing process,” said the Deputy Minister.
It is estimated that about 4,6 million children in Zimbabwe are at school. Cde Moyo said the ministry was also in the process of training teachers on Covid-19 awareness as guided by the World Health Organisation (WHO).
“We are currently holding workshops around the country where we are training teachers on a number of Covid-19 related issues, these inclusive of screening procedures, the creation of a safe environment for everybody and issues on how best to handle people who are seen to be exhibiting Covid-19 symptoms. On the ground our officials are also busy with the procurement of sanitisers, disinfectants and face masks where we are also working in collaboration with the Ministry of Higher and Tertiary Education, Innovation, Science and Technology which is producing some of these key preventive items,” said Deputy Minister Moyo.