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Teachers Forced To Invigilate Without Protective Gear, Union

By Branton Matondo

Teachers are being compelled to assess and invigilate ZIMSEC examinations without protective clothing leading to a surge in positive cases in learning proximities, post on sunday learns.

This comes after safety concerns have surged over positive cases in Masvingo schools and the unfortunate rise of Covid-19 cases in schools across the nation.

PTUZ top brass Dr Takavafira Zhou said that the unceasing rise of Covid-19 cases is putting safety of teachers in jeopardy and they are being forced to invigilate and contact directly with examination sitters.

“Forget about Standard Operation Procedures, they are non-existent in most schools in Zimbabwe. There is a quandary in schools over invigilation of covid-19 positive students with many teachers forced to invigilate without protective gear.”

Zhou added that many schools across Masvingo province have been hit hard by the newly discovered Omicron variant and its still worrisome that many schools are finding it difficult to counter the spread.

“The escalation of covid cases in schools is worrisome, and so is failure to adopt a broad intervention plan to combat covid-19 pandemic. In Masvingo province, Mucheke High, Gokomere High and Mutero High are currently under siege from covid-19 pandemic, while many more schools such as Victoria High, Gutu High, Deure High etc are still smarting from recent covid-19 pandemic cases, just as many other schols across the country.”

The union bemoans absence of PPEs which has been worsened by lack of water, sanitary and learning structures across many schools in Zimbabwe.

An attempt to contact Amalgamated Rural Teachers Union Of Zimbabwe (ARTUZ) Secretary General Robson Chele was to no avail.

Zhou cautioned government that if the situation remains as there is teachers will drop their tools down.

“If nothing is done as a matter of urgency, there is danger that schools may be virtually abandoned by teachers, or totally converted into quarantine centres rather than function as institutions of learning and teaching,” he added

meanwhile, a school in Matebeleland South has been shut after 28 pupils tested positive to covid-19.