The Ministry of Primary and Secondary Education has announced that ‘paid-for-extra lessons’ are illegal and teachers who defy this directive would be arrested for engaging in corrupt activities.
This announcement comes after the government banned extra lessons, accusing teachers of putting more effort into extra lessons, where they are paid between US$5 and US$10 per subject every month by parents or guardians.
In an interview with CITE, Director of Communications and Advocacy in the Ministry of Primary and Secondary Education, Taungana Ndoro, confirmed that paid-for-extra lessons were now illegal.
He noted that parents were now paying extra money for their children to learn yet teachers were supposed to teach the syllabus during the school calendar.
“We have a problem of teachers who are not teaching when schools are open and then they tell learners to come for paid-for extra lessons in order to cover the syllabus. Parents would have paid fees but get a raw deal,” Ndoro said.
“There are then made to fork out money for extra lessons to pay the same teacher who was supposed to be doing his or her job in the classroom.”
The ministry official described that charging for extra lessons was corruption and the Zimbabwe Anti-Corruption Committee (ZACC) would descend on teachers who did so.
“Now that is corruption and ZACC will deal with them,” said the spokesperson, adding that “parents are very good whistle-blowers and would alert us.”
Earlier this month the Minister of Justice Legal and Parliamentary Affairs, Ziyambi Ziyambi, told legislators in Parliament that this policy position was taken after noting that school terms were sufficient to cover material required for examinations.
Ziyambi noted that “teachers were now concentrating on holiday lessons yet the school calendar must be sufficient to make sure learners are able to write exams.”