The Amalgamated Rural Teachers Union of Zimbabwe (ARTUZ) has condemned the government’s decision to instruct schools in Matabeleland North province to conduct lessons for Grades 5-7 during the April and August school holidays.
The order affects primary schools that failed to record pass rates above 30 per cent. ARTUZ president Obert Masaraure had this to say:
This State shows that education administrators in Mat North have no compassion as they imagine teachers working in hard-hit areas working around the clock.
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This is unlawful, unfortunate, callous and a clear misunderstanding of fundamentals affecting student performance in schools.
The home environment, availability of resources at school, government support, curriculum suitability and accommodation of student interests, a motivation of both teachers and learners are important.
Sadly, without any baseline survey, the acting provincial director has reached a wrong conclusion. He is certainly engaging in cold and calculated educational vandalism.
He must be reminded that teachers and students are not machines, but human beings that need some rest so that they start their second term with more vigour and enthusiasm.
There is a danger of exhausting both teachers and students with a consequent dismal performance.
The government outlawed the holding of extra lessons in schools some years back, saying that pupils needed time to rest.