Schools defy Govt vacation lessons ban

12 Apr, 2024 - 00:04 0 Views
Schools defy Govt vacation lessons ban Baring Primary School is among the schools that have defied Government's ban of vacation lessons

The ManicaPost


Ray Bande
Senior Reporter

SEVERAL schools in Manicaland are headed on a collision course with the Government after defying a directive not to have vacation school this holiday, amid exposés that they are conducting lessons.

The Manica Post has established that a good number of schools are conducting normal lessons across the province, leaving many wondering what has become of the widely circulated directive by the Ministry of Primary and Secondary Education to suspend lessons this holiday.

Lessons were at full throttle at Baring Primary School, Dangamvura Primary School, Murahwa Primary School and Rock of Ages on Wednesday this week.

Vendors who ply their trade at the respective schools’ premises gates were enjoying brisk business.

Their operating hours are being determined by the lesson schedules of their clientele.

While some schools had Forms Four, Five and Six classes, others had the whole stream of learners in class for the usual day-to-day lessons.

Some of the schools reportedly instructed their learners to attend classes for two weeks only.

A number of teachers are conducting lessons at their homes and private properties.

In all the cases, the vacation classes are coming at an extra cost to the parents and guardians, most of whom are forking out US$1 per day per learner at primary school, and US$10 per subject for those in secondary schools.

The Manica Post has also established that to boost their numbers, private schools were taking advantage of learners from schools like Chancellor Junior and Mutare Junior in Mutare that heeded the Government directive.

Some of the private schools, because of the ballooning numbers, were now charging as much as US$20 per subject for secondary school learners.

An authority at a local private school, who spoke on condition of anonymity, admitted to violating the Government directive to prepare their learners for the forthcoming Cambridge examinations.

“We find ourselves in a very difficult situation because we have Cambridge exams coming up on April 29, and for these kids not to attend classes, it means they would have lost revision time. We have no option, but to offer these holiday lessons,” said the source.

Acting Manicaland Provincial Education Director (PED), Mr Richard Gabaza said they were yet to get reports of defiant schools.

“Generally, yes, they (schools) took heed. Some even tried to apply to have vacation lessons, but the applications were turned down in line with the Government directive. The directive applied to all schools, private or public. All schools operate under the Education Act, and everyone must be abiding by the statues outlined in that Act,” said Mr Gabaza.

Mr Gabaza said they will investigate the reports, and schools caught violating the directive will be penalised. When the schools closed for the April holiday, Government turned down requests to have vacation school for examination classes; arguing that learners needed time to rest.

A notice was released to the Chief Director, Provincial Education Directors, District Schools Inspectors and other relevant authorities in the education sector to that effect.

The notice was written by the Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Primary and Secondary Education, Mr Moses Mhike.

“The Ministry noted with appreciation the requests that have been received from some of its sectors to allow for the uptake of the vacation school for examination classes of Grade Seven, Ordinary and Advanced Levels during this April holiday.

“Having consulted widely on the matter, and taking cognisance of the fact that the school term had no disturbances at all to the teaching and learning programme, therefore authority is NOT GRANTED that schools facilitate a vacation school during the April school holidays for the Grade Seven, Ordinary and Advanced Level candidates as well as for the non-examination classes,” it reads in part.


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