The Ministry of Primary and Secondary Education has released a statement clarifying the issue of the 2021 school calendar after it had been speculated that the Association of Trust Schools’ (ATS) has its own 2021 school calendar.
We present the statement in full below:
It has come to the attention of the Ministry of Primary and Secondary Education that there are claims that the Association of Trust Schools’ (ATS) has its own 2021 school calendar.
The Ministry takes this opportunity to advise its valued learners, parents, guardians, teachers and other stakeholders that in terms of the Education (Non-Government Schools) Regulations of 2005, Section 9 (1): “The Secretary shall prepare an annual school calendar to determine the days during each term when pupils shall be required to attend school for instruction,”
The regulations further state in Section 9 (3): “In special circumstances, the Secretary…may permit a school to open or close, or both, on dates other than those specified by the school calendar for any term.”
The Secretary has published the revised 2021 school calendar and has not allowed any school to deviate from it. All schools are, therefore, expected to adhere to the 2021 school calendar announced by Government.
For ease of reference, pursuant to a Cabinet decision announced on 2 March 2021, all schools will open on 15 March 2021 for examination classes and open on 22 March 2021 for non-examination classes. The first term will run until 4 June 2021 and the second term will begin on 28 June 2021 and close on 10 September 2021 while the third term will begin on 4 October 2021 through to 17 December 2021.
All well-meaning public and private schools, including ATS schools, should therefore abide by the Ministry’s 2021 school calendar. Any deviation from the above school calendar announced will attract censorship with the sternest penalty being deregistration of the deviant school.
Responsible authorities of schools are also advised to be guided by the set down Ministry procedures on the collection of school fees.
The Ministry of Primary and Secondary Education maintains all authority in the governance of the education system in Zimbabwe as it remains committed to provide equitable, quality, inclusive, relevant and competence-driven Primary, Secondary and Non-formal education at all times.
The Ministry reinforces the wearing of face masks, physical distancing as well as handwashing to prevent the spread of COVID-19 in all school centres as preparations continue for the safe opening of schools and the accelerated implementation of teaching and learning activities.
Mrs Tumisang Thabela (SECRETARY FOR PRIMARY AND SECONDARY EDUCATION)