Zimbabwe government takes action, bans holiday lessons


The government has rejected requests from schools to allow both non-examination and examination classes to attend vacation school during the April holiday, saying pupils need a well-deserved break to rest and engage in independent learning.

It believes that a break from the academic routine will be beneficial to pupils’ physical and mental health, allowing them to recharge and be ready to resume classes on May 7, 2024.

In a statement yesterday, the Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Primary and Secondary Education, Mr Moses Mhike, said after extensive consultations, the Government had decided not to allow schools to hold vacation classes during the upcoming holiday.

“The ministry notes 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 7, Ordinary and Advanced level during this April holiday.

“Having consulted widely on the matter and taking cognisant 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 7, Ordinary and Advanced level candidates, as well as for the non-examinations classes.

“Pupils need this holiday break to rest and engage in independent learning where need be, including utilisation of the Zimbabwe Learning Passport amongst other alternative learning strategies,” Mr Mhike said.

He said the educational term had progressed smoothly and that vacation classes would not be necessary.

“The Ministry of Primary and Secondary Education acknowledges the conduct of teaching and learning in all schools which went seamlessly during the first term of the year, fully embracing the 56 days set aside for that process.

“The dedication, hard work, and unwavering commitment to educating and nurturing the young minds of our pupils have not gone unnoticed. The creativity and passion brought about by all our teachers in the classrooms that made learning engaging, interactive and inspiring for our pupils is commended and the ministry remains grateful.”

Mr Mhike urged all Provincial Education Directors to strictly enforce this directive, ensuring that no vacation classes are held during the upcoming holiday.

The Government banned holiday lessons saying they were being abused by teachers who were no longer teaching during the course of the term.

The Ministry of Primary and Secondary Education has been taking various steps to enforce the ban on privately-paid extra lessons after it emerged that some teachers were not doing their work during normal learning hours to corruptly earn more income from desperate parents.

Under Government policy, teachers in the public system are forbidden from charging for extra lessons, although they may provide extra tuition for an entire class without extra pay.

A few days ago, the Zimbabwe Republic Police warned teachers against abusing pupils as well as demanding cash from parents for extra lessons, saying it is illegal.

This was said by Deputy Commissioner-General Stephen Mutamba during the 16th edition of the Commissioner General of Police’s Schools Merit Awards in Harare.

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