Government lifts ban on extra lessons

03 Aug, 2014 - 06:08 0 Views

The Sunday Mail

Government has lifted the ban on extra lessons, mainly for classes that will sit public examinations this year and for pupils who lost learning time due to unforeseen circumstances.

Applications for extra lessons were expected to reach provincial education directors “not later than two weeks before the end of the term”, according to new regulations.

Schools close this week and it could not be established yesterday how many had applied.

Primary and Secondary Education Minister Lazarus Dokora banned extra lessons late last year in a bid to cushion hard-pressed parents from unscrupulous school authorities who were demanding huge sums of money for the service.

Teachers’ unions have fiercely criticised the ban, saying it demoralised “poorly remunerated” teachers.

Minister Dokora said he had not banned extra lessons as such but was only trying to restore order in the education sector.

The moratorium on extra lessons was first lifted in April when the Ministry’s Secretary, Mrs Constance Chigwamba, sent a circular to school heads advising them to seek permission to conduct extra lessons during holidays.

In a second circular dated July 18, 2014 (reference A/181/1), Mrs Chigwamba said learning institutions could resume extra lessons only after getting authorisation.

Several schools in Marondera, Bindura and Harare confirmed receiving the circular.

Consideration for extra lessons will be given to classes sitting Grade 7, Ordinary and Advanced Level examinations and for pupils compensating unforeseen loss of learning time, innovative use of teacher expertise and limited infrastructure.

Mrs Chigwamba said extra lessons for public examination classes should not exceed 12 days during the August-September school holiday.

She said pupils requiring boarding facilities would only pay such fees as calculated on a pro-rata basis.

“In compliance with the annual school calendar, all schools are encouraged to make optimal use of the teaching and learning times as provided for on school timetables,” said Mrs Chigwamba in the circular. “However, the provision for schools to apply for authority to conduct lessons during school holidays still applies.”

Harare High School is understood to have called a parents’ meeting on July 23 to deliberate on extra lessons, which will be conducted from August 15 to 29.

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