The National Association of Secondary Heads (NASH), has appealed to the government to allow schools to conduct holiday lessons.
This comes after the government banned holiday lessons this current school holiday as a measure to halt the spread of the coronavirus.
Schools have been encouraged to offer blended education programming through open distance and e-learning (ODeL) strategies.
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But NASH president Aurthur Maphosa told Manica Post that the majority of pupils have no access to internet services, radio and television stations, thus making it impossible for them to access online teaching materials. Said Maphosa:
We appeal to the ministry to reconsider its position on the cancellation of holiday lessons.
Schools look at holiday lessons as an important component of the catch-up programme.
The alternative methods encouraged by the ministry (e-learning) are suitable in environments with internet services, radio and television stations, yet a huge number of our institutions are not capacitated with these.
These Grade Sevens, Form Fours and Upper Sixes did not learn much in 2020, they really need so many face-to-face tutorials with their teachers.
Zimbabwe Rural Teachers’ Union (ZRTU) president, Martin Chaburumunda, also said the March 2020 lockdown reduced instructional and learning time, thereby affecting students’ performance.
Ashirai Mawere, the School Development Committee (SDC) chairman for Mt Selinda High School, said pupils have a lot of work to be covered, hence the need for more learning time.
Teachers have been accused of neglecting their main duties to capitalise on holiday lessons and also victimising students whose guardians could not pay for the extra lessons.