Sibongile Maruta and Panashe Machakaire
Glen View 5 Primary School in Harare resumed classes yesterday after it was temporarily closed on September 11 when it was discovered that its only source of water was contaminated.
Government last week allowed the school to begin classes after its senior officials and Harare City Council were satisfied with the interventions taken to fight a cholera outbreak that has killed 35 people.
In an interview with The Herald yesterday, Glen View 5 Primary School headmaster Mr Jethro Tendai Manyau confirmed the development.
“On Friday the Permanent Secretary together with the City of Harare officials were here to inspect the school and they were satisfied with what they saw. They recommended that we resume lessons today the 24th of September. Our staff and parents are excited to bring learners to school. We were now worried that they were lagging behind. Parents were saying they would want the missed concepts to be covered up,” Mr Manyau.
“We have also encouraged parents to give our learners boiled water to drink from home to augment supply that we have at the school. I was talking to parents in the morning as they were dropping off their children at school to practise safe hygiene in their homes.”
He said the school was now being stigmatised since the outbreak of cholera.
“The school is facing stigmatisation from people in the community. Pupils are losing confidence and as an institution we are struggling to get over it. Our pupils are now associated with cholera instead of them being known for their academic excellence. We have an organisation that promised to help us boost morale in our pupils,” said Mr Manyau.
He said they were extensively teaching pupils on how to prevent cholera.
“We are teaching them on how to prevent it. It is showing up in our learners that they are quite disciplined when it comes to hygiene. For example toilets are clean and in general the school is smart. We are making use of the things that were donated to us fairly for the benefit of our learners,” said Mr Manyau.
The school requires more assistance to chlorinate its borehole which has since been decommissioned.
Some of the parents who spoke to The Herald said they were happy that lessons have resumed at the school.
“As parents we are practising safe hygiene and sanitation because we fear that with this type of disease you never know if you and your family are safe. We are glad that well-wishers came in to assist to ensure that the school was safe again,” said a parent, Mrs Virginia Mapuranga.