COVID-19: Zimbabwe universities forced to postpone exams

UNIVERSITIES are postponing their end of semester examinations as a precaution against the spike in local Covid-19 cases with most allowing students already on campus to finish writing.

University of Zimbabwe Registrar Dr Noah Mutongoreni in a statement said examinations scheduled for dates beyond July 26 have been postponed.

“All examinations beyond week ending 24 July 2020 are effectively deferred and students are expected to continue with their online classes and also hand in their projects and dissertations as earlier advised. Clinical classes and examinations for MBChB and BDS Part V are unaffected and remain as previously scheduled,” Dr Mutongoreni said.

Great Zimbabwe University told students of the postponement in a statement by registrar Ms Sinikiwe Gwatidzo which gave students 24 hours to return to their homes.

“Students who had travelled for face-to-face tuition, practical lessons and subsequent examinations return to their homes beginning today 22 July. “Vacation of halls of residence shall be allowed up to the end of day tomorrow, Thursday 23 July 2020” the notice said.

“Those who were in the middle of writing cannot be disrupted. However, those who were yet to begin will have to hear from their institutions,” he said.

Higher and Tertiary Education, Innovation, Science and Technology Development Permanent Secretary Prof Fanuel Tagwira explained that those who were already writing will finish their papers.

The Ministry of Higher and Tertiary Education announced a ban on all face to face lectures at institutions of higher learning this week in light of the danger this poses to students and lecturers due to Covid-19.

Communication from the Secretary for Higher Education Professor Fanuel Tagwira to all principals of teachers’ colleges, polytechnics and industrial training colleges said lectures must stop with immediate effect.

“It is now observed that Covid-19 cases are escalating daily and this puts the lives of students and our members at our institutions at high risk.

In this week’s Post Cabinet media brief, the Minister of Information, Publicity and Broadcasting Services Senator Monica Mutsvangwa announced that cabinet had recommended the closing of Chinhoyi University of Technology after one of the lecturers had tested positive for COVID-19.