By A Correspondent- The Ministry of Primary and Secondary Education (MoPSE) has dispatched a circular to schools advising them of the new calendar and guidelines on adjusting school fees.
In a circular sent to Chief Directors, Head Office Directors, Provincial Education Directors, District Schools Inspectors, Primary School Heads, Secondary School Heads, Principals of Independent Colleges, Staff Associations, Responsible Authorities, Association of Trust Schools, and Church Education Secretaries, MoPSE said fees and levies will be charged on a prorata (proportionate) basis.
Below is the circular….
REF: STANDARD OPERATING PROCEDURES FOR THE OPENING OF SCHOOLS FOR THE SECOND AND FINAL SESSION 2021
Primary and Secondary Schools will be opening for the second and final session 2021 in two (2) phases. The 2021 examination classes (Grade 7, Forms 4 and 6) will open first on the 30th of August 2021 followed by the rest of the classes on the 6th of September 2021. It is against this background that all teachers are expected to report for duty by the 30th of August 2021.
In view of the current 3rd wave COVID-19 that the nation is experiencing, the Ministry of Primary and Secondary Education reiterates the need for strict and close observance of the World Health Organisation (W.H.0) and Ministry of Health and Child Care protocols and guidelines. Schools are therefore reminded to adhere to the provisions of the Standard Operating Procedures (5.0. Ps) guide as read with the Standard Guidelines for the Coordinated Prevention and Management of the COVID-19 pandemic at all Learning Institutions of Zimbabwe to ensure a safe, secure and healthy environment for learners, teachers and all stakeholders.
2.0 Application of the Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs)
2.1 The Standard Operating Procedures guide the day to day operations of all registered Government, Non-Government schools and Independent Colleges.
2.2 The SOPs provide guidelines to schools on the preparations that need to be made for the opening of schools and the procedures to be followed when schools are open.
2.3 All relevant stakeholders should acquaint themselves with the SOPs as they contain provisions that are mandatory.
2.4 The SOPs will be reviewed as and when it is deemed necessary.
3.0 Charging of fees and levies for the second and final session 2021
The average length of each term is about 60 days but this second and final session will be 80 days (30 August to 17 December 2021). The fees and levies for the second and final session 2021 will be charged on a pro-rata basis given by: number of days in the final session divided by average number of days in a term multiplied by approved fees and levies for each term.
4.0 Activities to be undertaken by School Heads
4.1 All schools are obliged to do the following activities:
• Ensure that Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) is in place and in adequate quantities.
• Ensure decongestion, where necessary, by arranging that learners attend school on alternate days and in sessions for mega schools. Examination classes have to attend every day.
• Conduct refresher training sessions for Deputy Heads, School Health Coordinators and teachers.
• Conduct regular COVID-19 awareness sessions for everyone in the school, including School Parents Assemblies (SPAs).
• Disinfect school premises including hostels and sanitize frequently touched surfaces.
• Clean the school environment regularly.
• Provide infrared thermometers and ensure screening of every person that enters the school premises.
• Designate a holding bay for any learner, member of staff or visitor identified to be unwell.
• In boarding schools, establish and fully monitor sick bays
• Display the contact details for the nearest health care facility or team.
• Provide litter bins for every class and at all strategic areas.
• Provide hand washing facilities for every class and a washing station at every entry point.
• Ensure the availability of liquid soap and/or hand sanitisers at every entry point.
• Enforce the wearing of face masks by all pupils, staff and visitors.
• Limit visitors to the school to only those that are essential.
2 • Enforce the maintenance of social/ physical distancing at the school, including in the hostels, at all times.
• Stand guided by the Ministry of Health and Child Care for any other activities.
• Maintain an accurate contact register.
• Keep doors and windows open to ensure adequate ventilation.
• Create and regularly update a social-register/ database for both learners and teachers.
• Display Information Education and Communication (IEC) materials at all strategic places.
Addressees are reminded of the need to ensure the safety of learners, staff and visitors at all times. It is therefore important for all stakeholders to embrace this new normal as the Ministry forges ahead with its mandate of providing inclusive, relevant and quality education. Strict adherence to W.H.O COVID 19 protocols and Ministry of Health and Child Care guidelines is thus demanded at all times.