Nompilo Mathuthu

21/09/2021

The Bulawayo Provincial Education
Director, Olicah Kaira says at least 80 percent of learners in Bulawayo are now back at school despite a decline in return of students compared to the previous years before the Covid 19 pandemic.

Kaira noted that this decline could possibly be caused by a number of girls falling pregnant though the situation is however different for rural schools in Matabeleland North and South Provinces especially in rural areas where many learners dropped out of school during the onset of COVID-19 last year due to different reasons.

Reasons for dropping out range from pregnancy, financial challenges, poverty, teenage marriages and early job seeking behaviors.

Responding to questions Kaira said it is too early to have conclusive results although in
some instances they have recorded successes on learner turnout but since reopening of the non-exam classes
turn out has been 80 percent for both learners and teachers in Bulawayo.

She also said that they hope that as the days continue
they will come in their numbers as they conducted community outreach programs urging parents
and guardians to ensure that every child goes to school.

“It is probably too early to have conclusive results although in
some instances we have recorded success on learner turnout,” said Mrs Kaira.

“We hope that as the days continue
they will come in their numbers as we conducted community outreach programs urging parents and guardians to ensure that every child comes to school.”said kaira.

In an interview one teacher identified as Mqondisi Dube revealed that they were not ready to go back to school due to financial strains.

“Most of us were not ready to go back to school as we were not financially prepared and could not afford to travel back to our school and pay school fees for our children”,said Dube.

A parent by the name Mxolisi Ndlovu said parents were struggling to cater for their children’s needs and his daughter fell pregnant during the Covid 19 pandemic hence there are still home.

“As parents we are struggling to cater for our children’s needs and one of my daughter’s fell pregnant during the lockdown and now l have to cater for both of them ,” said Ndlovu.

The reopening of schools was controversial as teacher organisation and parents revealed that the announcement of reopening was unexpected.

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