Schools had been scheduled to open yesterday
The ministry of education, arts and culture has announced that the academic year will start on 26 January and not 11 January as had been the plan initially.
The education minister, Ester Anna Nghipondoka, said in a press statement that the ministry was cognisant of the current situation in the country with the increasing number of Covid-19 infections and the impact it has nationally.
She added that the previous education year was challenging but she was happy that they managed to pull through despite the difficulties.
“We have seen great resilience from our regional offices, teachers, learners and parents in dealing with the challenges that they were faced with,” she said.
Dates for learners and teachers
The original reopening date for the teachers was last week, 6 January, but they will return on 14 January as proposed by the ministry. The learners (pre-primary to grade 11) were to start on 11 January but will only resume on 26 January. The advanced subsidiary learners with pending results are slated for 16 February 2021.
Considering the Covid-19 health regulations issued by the ministry of health and social services regarding social distancing, wearing of masks and sanitising, the education ministry has also put measures in place to ensure implementation in schools and school preparedness as per the various formal education circulars that were already issued last year to schools. The parents are responsible for ensuring that each learner is provided with a face mask and the correct information on wearing it
Different teaching and learning modes
The school management will also be expected to evaluate their preparedness for the return of all learners on the proposed dates. Schools must meet the key conditions that are mandatory prerequisites for reopening of schools. Schools are also expected to communicate to the parents as to what teaching and learning mode they will make use of.
There are various types of teaching and learning modes such as: platooning (different groups of learners and teachers attending morning and afternoon classes); time-based cohorts (accommodation of various learners in different grades on various days); distributed groups (all learners return but classes broken into smaller groups that learn in different locations at different times) and lastly a combination of the above mentioned in the implementation of the curriculum.