The Sunday Mail
Sunday Mail Reporter
THE Zimbabwe Anti-Corruption Commission (Zacc) has launched investigations into schools that are condoning the illegal practice of forcing learners to pay for extra lessons.
It is believed that in some instances there are teachers who are corruptly working with school administrators and sharing the proceeds.
Statutory Instrument (SI) 1 of 2020 makes it illegal for teachers to conduct paid extra lessons.
It also prohibits teachers from selling items such as uniforms and snacks to learners.
Conducting extra lessons on school premises is actually considered a breach of the teacher’s professional code of conduct.
Last week, the anti-corruption watchdog visited some of the schools that are being implicated in corrupt activities in Harare and ran compliance checks on their operations.
They also carried out inquiries and educated learners as well as both teaching and non-teaching staff on the law.
Zacc’s prevention and corporate governance general manager Dr Munyaradzi Magiga said apart from conducting extra lessons, some school administrators were merging the School Development Committee (SDC) accounts with that of the school, something which has created loopholes for corruption.
“We have received many reports, some coming through the media, our website as well as individuals coming to our offices. They have been complains that teachers are conducting paid extra lessons, which is illegal.
“We are already running some compliance checks at schools while live investigations are also underway,” he said.
Teachers, he said, should “not improvise outside the limits of the classroom”, adding that extra lessons should only be done for free as a catch-up mechanism for classes that are behind in covering their syllabus.
He said paid extra lessons are making education inaccessible for the poor.
“This is actually a nationwide problem. Parents and guardians should be guarded from being fleeced by teachers demanding payment for extra lessons.
“We cannot create bottlenecks in the education system that is supposed to benefit everybody. We want to go back to the basics and make sure that nobody increases the cost of education.”
There are allegations that some teachers are conducting paid extra lessons after hours, while others are absconding normal working hours to prioritise children who would have paid cash only.
Reports indicate that some school teachers are charging learners between US$5 and US$20 every month for extra lessons.