SCHOOLS will once again reopen in a phased approach in 2021 with only those in Form Four this year returning on 4 January to finish writing their remaining ZIMSEC examination papers.
Other pupils will only return to class as late as February 2021 in a move that is meant to decongest schools amid the COVID-19 pandemic.
Pupils who are writing Ordinary Level examinations will have some of their papers overlapping into early next year and these are the ones who will reopen on 4 January.
Ministry of Primary and Secondary Education Director of Communications, Mr Taungana Ndoro, told Sunday News yesterday that the ministry will employ the method of phased opening of schools next year as a way of decongesting and further implementing the Standard Operation Procedures.
“We are opening schools on January 4 2021 to allow the Ordinary Level candidates to finish their examinations. Other returning pupils will have to come in February most probably after the Form 4 students finish their examinations,” he said.
Ndoro said Grade Seven results will be released early next year but definitely before 31 January.
This year, following premature closure of schools in March as a preventive measure against Covid-19, the Government introduced a phased approached to schools opening where Phase One of the reopening was on 28 September and was meant for the Grade 7s, Forms 4 and Upper Sixth followed by Grade 6, Form 3 and 5s on 26 October under the second phase.
In Phase Three, schools opened on 9 November 2020 with the rest of the learners which covered ECD A and B, grade 1,2,3,4,5 and Forms 1 and 2.
However, an industrial action by most teachers affected learning resulting in the Government taking a decision to postpone some of the public examinations into next year. ■