CONFUSION surrounds school closing dates after the Primary and Secondary Education ministry circulated a memo saying today was the last day of learning for Harare and Bulawayo schools, while trust schools say they will only close on December 4.
Bulawayo schools are closing a week early to make way for the Region 5 Under-20 Youth Games, while it is believed that Harare schools are closing today to make way for the Zanu PF congress next week.
Learners from private schools in Bulawayo were yesterday given letters to give to their parents, advising them that schools close on December 4 as planned.
However, in a circular sent to all schools by the Education ministry, all centres in the two cities will close today. Most schools and colleges will be used to accommodate thousands of delegates to attend the Zanu PF indaba in the capital while the same will happen in Bulawayo where some schools will accommodate participants for the youth games.
Zimbabwe Teachers’ Association chief executive officer Sifiso Ndlovu confirmed the development, but said the move was uncalled for and would jeopardise teachers’ plans and proper transition by learners into higher grades.
Though he was not clear why the dates were moved, Ndlovu suspected the move was meant to accommodate the sixth Zanu PF national people’s conference set for Harare next week and the national youth games for Bulawayo.
“I have not seen the circular, but I have heard about that,” he said.
“Schools in Harare and Bulawayo are closing tomorrow (today) instead of next week.
“The reason in Bulawayo is because of the youth games while in Harare it is because of the major event next week.”
Colleges will also be affected by the development and students were supposed to vacate the premises before Thursday next week.
“Technically, everyone is out,” said a source at one of the colleges.
“Polytechnics won’t be affected because the last exam was on November 24, but there is a directive that students should vacate before the congress.”
Education minister Lazarus Dokora could not be reached for comment.
In an interview yesterday, Bulawayo Provincial education director Dan Moyo said: “Schools in Bulawayo will close tomorrow, but other schools, nationally, will close on the exact closing date.”
Bulawayo is set to host 10 countries from the region with participants taking part in athletics, netball, swimming, basketball, football, tennis, boxing and judo from December 5 to 14.