GOVERNMENT has ordered schools that were affected by Cyclone Idai to close and re-open two weeks before the second term starts on May 7 saying the environment was not conducive for learning to continue.
In an interview yesterday, Primary and Secondary Education Deputy Minister Edgar Moyo who is in Chimanimani, also said Government has availed $4 million for the reconstruction of schools in affected areas.
He said the schools which have since closed are expected to open on April 23, two weeks before the second term starts for pupils in the affected schools to make up for lost time.
“We have ordered that some schools in affected areas be closed as a way of stress reduction and rehabilitation.
“We told them to close early especially the boarding schools, even day schools because they lost a lot of things,” said the Deputy Minister.
“Our strategy now is we know that these children are traumatised, some of them from home due to deaths in the families, some of their family members are missing, the level of trauma is very high so no meaningful learning can take place in that environment that’s why we said they must close.”
Deputy Minister Moyo said schools lost stationery, furniture and some buildings were destroyed and Government had availed $4 million for their rehabilitation.
“Government has provided some money, $4 million has been provided for the reconstruction of schools.
“We are also looking at a programme to rehabilitate all other schools in the affected area,” he said.
“We are anticipating that they will open two weeks before the normal schools calendar term opens to make up for lost time. We hope that by then we would have put up rehabilitative strategies in terms of infrastructure, and also furniture and some text books. We hope that by that time we would have finished,” he said.
“The tentative date for re-opening is April 23, but it is subject to confirmation depending on the situation on the ground. Our vision is for them to open on April 23 to make up for lost time”.
The deputy minister said he feared that the $4 million allocated by Government would not be sufficient as the damage was underestimated by the people on the ground.