The Zambia National Education Coalition (ZANEC) has consulted its members and other education stakeholders, including parents, regarding the newly announced date for the reopening of schools in 2021. After analyzing the responses from stakeholders, ZANEC would like to welcome the recent statement by the Ministry of General Education Permanent Secretary Dr. Jobbicks Kalumba in which he indicated that all schools will open for term one on 18th January, 2021 instead of 4th January 2021 as earlier announced. The decision taken by the Ministry is a step in the right direction as it will enable parents and guardians to prepare adequately for their children’ s return to school both financially and mentally.
Furthermore, ZANEC appreciate the importance of ensuring that enough time is given to the marking of examination papers for Grades 9 and 12 candidates given the adjustment that was made to the examination calendar which now goes up to end of December. It is however our hope that there will be no further adjustment to the academic calendar beyond what has already been proposed to ensure that we don’t lose the valuable gains we have so far achieved in remediating the loss in learning time which we experienced this year due to the COVID 19 pandemic. Therefore, our hope is that the Ministry of Finance will release adequate funding to the Ministry of General Education in time so that the process of marking examination papers is done smoothly and as planned.