Leonard Ncube, Victoria Falls Reporter
THE Ministry of Health and Child Care, in partnership with Victoria Falls Municipality on Monday disinfected Mosi-oa-Tunya High School by spraying buildings and surfaces.

This comes as authorities are making frantic efforts to make sure learning institutions are safe and ready before reopening of schools as part of Covid-19 preventive measures.

The government has said schools will open on 28 July.

The opening would be staggered, starting with examination classes and cascading down to infant classes.  

However, some parents have said opening of schools should be delayed.

Mosi-oa-Tunya in Victoria Falls and Mabhikwa High in Lupane were used as provincial quarantine centres before returnees were transferred to alternative centres in the province last week.

Those who were at Mosi-oa-Tunya were moved to newly established quarantine centre at Encore Budget Lodge in Victoria Falls while those that were at Mabhikwa were transferred to Inyathi Training Centre in Bubi District.

The June/July examination candidates who had registered at the two schools are writing from Chamabondo and Lupane primary schools in Victoria Falls and Lupane respectively where they were moved to. 

Mrs Ngonidzashe Mandinyenya, a parent with two kids in secondary and one in primary school said opening of schools should be delayed until proper safety measures favourable to children are put in place.

“I think they should wait a bit because if you check the number of new cases keeps going up. Recently some children and teachers died in South Africa and that has scared us hence we feel releasing our children to school at this moment is not safe.

” In terms of preparation, even if they open today there is no way we can raise fees since we haven’t been working. Yes, we can make masks on our own but sanitisers need money. We can’t save for that in light of the current situation. It will not be easy for children to maintain social distancing considering their age and teacher pupil ratio. Kids will also end up sharing masks or removing them because they are not used to wearing such things for a long time. All this shows we are not yet ready and as parents we pray, they can delay a bit,” she said.

Victoria Falls Housing Director Mr Brian Nyamande who also chairs the local taskforce on Covid-19 said disinfection of Mosi-oa-Tunya was done on Monday, with all buildings and surfaces being sprayed.

“Disinfection of Mosi-oa-Tunya has been done following relocation of returnees to Encore Budget paving way for learners. The Ministry of Health and Child Care in conjunction with Victoria Falls Municipality health department conducted the disinfection exercise and the school is now ready to receive learners.

“As a taskforce we are happy to be able to disinfect the school in time to allow for preparation for the anticipated reopening of schools later this month. The level of cooperation and support the taskforce got from all stakeholders has been outstanding from day one,” said Mr Nyamande.

Matabeleland North Provincial Education Director Mr Jabulani Mpofu said Mabhikwa High School was yet to be disinfected. 

He said the province is however ready for schools opening.

“Mabhikwa has also been evacuated but is yet to be disinfected. We hope it will be done soon,” he said.

Mr Mpofu said the province had received money to buy masks for learners.

“We received funds from the Ministry (Primary and Secondary Education) towards purchasing of masks that were produced by our schools. Production of masks is ongoing in our schools and we are aiming for at least five masks per learner,” he said.

Matabeleland North now has three quarantine centres; Inyathi Training Centre in Bubi, Phezulu Lodge and Encore Budget Lodge in Victoria Falls.