Zimbabwe’s school going children are set for an unprecedented marathon learning term which is going to stretch from 31 August to 17 December this year as the education sector tries to make up for lost time during the Covid-19 induced lockdown.
According to the new learning calendar released by authorities, the 2021 education year has been collapsed into two terms with 80 days now designated for the second and final term.
This is a departure from the normal school term of 60 days.
Government also directed that school fees and levies be set at one and a third times the normal term fee for exam classes under the formula issued by the Education ministry Thursday.
Education ministry permanent secretary Tumisang Thabela, in a circular, said, “The fees and levies for the second and final session 2021 will be charged on a prorate basis given by: number of days in the final session divided by an average number of days in a term multiplied by approved fees and levies for each term.”
Government announced this week schools are opening this Monday 31 August 2021 for examination classes with the rest set to reopen September 6.
This comes after a fierce surge in Covid 19 cases earlier during the year prompted a prolonged schools shutdown early June this year.
The new learning term has been bolstered by a recent government decision to extend the country’s vaccination programme to children who are between 14 and 17 years of age.
In her Thursday circular, Thabela also reminded the sector to, “adhere to the provisions of the standard operating procedures guide as read with the standard guidelines for the coordinated prevention and management of the Covid-19 pandemic at all learning institutions of Zimbabwe to ensure a safe, secure and healthy environment for learners, teachers and all stakeholders.”