Parents fume over extra lessons payment

Parents of learners at Thekwane High School in Matabeleland South are upnin arms with some teachers at the school who are allegedly demanding payment to conduct extra lessons.

Schools opened in March in a phased approach following a long holiday as part of the measures to curb the spread of Covid-19.

Sources who spoke to CITE said the teachers are allegedly demanding US$10 per subject from learners at the Methodist Church in Zimbabwe-run boarding school.

“I am a parent of a form four learner at Thekwane High School, apparently when schools opened, we paid US$312 or ZWL $25 000 in school fees. We then received communication from our children that the teachers want $10 per subject for extra lessons,” said a disgruntled parent.

She said this was a rip-off considering that they went out of their way to raise the full fees.

“This is not fair considering that we have already paid full fees and for me, I would rather have my child come back home because I can get a cheaper private teacher who can teach my child,” she said.

Another parent said this was not the first time that the eachers are demanding payment for extra lessons.

“The other thing is, last year when schools opened, we were told as parents through the parents’ WhatsApp groups that teachers are incapacitated and we agreed as parents to cushion them and give them little incentives for them to teach our children as it was during that time when videos were circulating on social media of obscenities caused by form four learners at different boarding schools,” said the parent

“They assured us as parents that they will look after our children. Each parent paid US$5 for the teachers’ incentive. Fair and fine that was okay and we paid, children went to school, by then my child was in form three. She however told me that half the time they were not even learning, teachers were giving priority to those learners who were paying R150 for extra lessons, and for me, my child does not even carry such pocket money to school as I cannot afford it.”

Another parent added that her child also sent her a message alerting her about the money for extra lessons.

“It looks like teachers are going an extra mile for those children who would have paid for extra lessons. It is alleged that they now teach after hours and on weekends as they claim that they want to cover the whole syllabus before June exams,” the parent said.

She said the demands of the teachers are out of hand as it causes anxiety on learners who fear being left behind.

Contacted for a comment, Thekwane High School Headmaster, Salani Ndlovu referred the publication to the school’s public relations department.

The school’s public relations officer Reverend Nkosinathi Ndlovu said they were not aware of the issue and will carry out an investigation.

The Methodist Church education secretary, Bishop Wilfred Dimingu encouraged the parents to bring forward proof.

“It is not allowed. The teachers are not allowed to do that and as the responsible authority we are not even aware and if such a thing is happening those parents should bring proof so that we deal with those issues and deal with those teachers and they will be charged, it’s not allowed at all,” said Bishop Dimingu.

“Even those parents who are doing it, they know that it’s not allowed and we don’t tolerate that in our school and if anything of that sort is happening, the parents should bring proof to us so that we deal with those teachers.”

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