Arron Nyamayaro, H-Metro Reporter
A PRAVATE school in Manicaland has riled parents after inviting students to report to school for Covid-19 testing and screening at a fee ahead of the opening of the second term without the approval of the Health Ministry of Health and Child Care.
Knowstics Group of Schools located in Nyanga went on to invite Form 4 and 6 students to attend a Covid-19 School Response Program slated for today, which they claim will be graced by Minister of Primary and Secondary Education, Cain Mathema.
A letter sent by school management yesterday
Minister Mathema distanced himself from the programme saying he is not aware of the said launch and will not be in attendance.
“I am not aware of the launch and I will not be attending that function,” said Minister Mathema.
Knowstics Group of Schools began testing and screening students over Covid-19 on Monday at US$50 per student and some parents refused to comply.
One of the parents pleaded with the Ministry of Health and Child Care to help by responding to their plight since there was no statement from both Government and Ministry regarding the testing and screening of school children.
“We are worried with the school’s decision, we strongly believe it is against health measures set by Government in curbing the spreading of Covid-19,” said one of the irate parents.
“The school is after money and are threatening to punish students who refuse to comply by blocking them from sitting for their examinations.
“We fear for our children’s lives if the testing equipment is not approved by Government and also as the parent of the child I am still to be tested so I cannot allow my child to undergo it.
“The letter sent to us clearly states that all those wishing to come after 18th of May 2020 should note that there will be no automatic entry into the school due to the screening and testing exercise, so an appointment has to be made first,” said the parent.
The school principal William Mukuwapasi confirmed testing and screening students saying it was part of the preparation ahead of the opening of the school term.
“There is a launch for Manicaland on Covid-19 Response Program which was expected to be graced by Minister on Wednesday (today),” said Mukuwapasi.
“We invited students to come for testing and screening as part of our preparation for the opening of school term and we have changed venue for the launch.
“Give us names of the parents who informed H-Metro about this so that we would thank them about their decision to publish our school activities,” said Mukuwapasi presumably in the spirit of Biblical Herod on birth of Jesus.
Below are the letters sent to parents by Knowstics Group of Schools in connection of the disowned event.
Following the communication that was done yesterday 15.05.2020 concerning the invitation for the Form 4 & 6 to attend the Launch of the Manicaland Covid 19 School Response Program to be held on 20.05.20, kindly note that some individual clearances have been send through email to all students who have been cleared by our Accounts Office.
All those who received clearances kindly note that your son or daughter is only allowed to check in on Monday 18.05.2020 since all testing and screening procedures will be done on this day.
All those wishing to come after 18.05.2020 should note that there will be no automatic entry into the school due to the screening and testing exercise, so an appointment has to be made first.
Payments for the testing and administration fees of USD50 can be done at the school.
For any further questions contact the Front Office personnel, read the letter.
UPDATED 17 MAY 2020
RE: FUNCTION FOR COVID 19 RESPONSE IN SCHOOLS
Please note that the date for the function and venue have been changed. The venue will no longer be Knowstics but Hartzel High School. The 20th of May has also been changed to a later date yet to be announced.
However preparations for the event still require that some of our students who are currently not in school return to school for preparations.
These students are expected to be in school on Monday 18 May 2020. Only those have been cleared to come
Knowstics as you already know distinguished itself not only academically but is the torch bearer of industrial production competing even with tertiary institutions.
We are the only school that donated PPE to 3 district hospitals, 3 clinics and 1 provincial hospital. We have also donated to civil protection institutions (Police & RDC in Mutasa & Nyanga).
It is for this reason that we have been selected to make presentation on this by the Provincial Education Directorate Manicaland.
Please disregard any other messaging not originating from the school.