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Education Ministry Tighten Screws On Unsavory Practices Of Schools In Zim

By Shingirai Vambe

The Zimbabwe Government continue to put systems in place to deal with rising educational challenges as a result of myriad push factors affecting parents, teachers school children and school authorities creating a sour relationship between parties.

In that regard, the Ministry of Primary and secondary Education communication Director, Taungana Ndoro, shared a communique on the activation of the Ministry’s activated strategic command centers throughout the country to actively deal with unsavory practices, as stated in the constitution and Education Amendment Act of 2019.

Such practices include but are not limited to chasing away pupils for nonpayment of fees, conducting paid for extra-lessons, discrimination and corruption in enrolment, use of corporal punishment, charging of unapproved fees and levies amongst other malpractices.

Ndoro said parents, guardians, teachers and pupils are advised to make use of the command center’s focal persons so that every school-going child has access to quality, relevant, equitable and wholesome primary and secondary education.

Ministry of Primary and Secondary Education, Director Communications, Taungana Ndoro

In his post, Ndoro share list of education officers around the country and their contacts.

This unsavory behavior stated by the Ministry of education is an over emphasized and most debated topic in the Zimbabwe Parliament as most schools disregard the government policy by chasing away children for non-payment of fees.

Some schools in Makoni District are known for asking the students to leave the classroom, sit outside or play at the school ground while others are learning and dismiss them at once by day end.

Schools have however reached out and responded to this publication that government has failed to fully support and fund education in Zimbabwe and there are no adequate resources to run day-to-day business of their institutions to the extent that there have been some delays in basic education assistant module (BEAM) payments by Government, which the schools regard as an eroded fund affected by inflationary economic environment.

Due to economic hardships, parents in marginalized rural areas have nothing to fend for their families and have decided to do general work at school to cover for their children’s school fees.

However, there are reports, for that same reason of economic hardships, teachers are also working based on their paltry salaries and putting too much effort to extra lessons. The Government of Zimbabwe has since banned such conduct, but many parents have appreciated the effort by teachers to give an extra time to their children especially in preparation of examinations and during covid-19 pandemic where there was need for less interfacing between teachers and students.

Meanwhile, the ministry has sent a directive to all Provincial Education Directors that no school must execute any educational tour after grade 7 examinations. The communique came at a time when student have completed their G7 examinations and in most cases, they stop going to school. The ministry has however directed that students must not abandon school until the official closure of the school year, for the alignment of the curriculum as well as their safety.