Most of Zimbabwe’s primary and secondary school teachers are cashing in on the indefinite closure of schools by offering online tutorials for learners desperate to prepare for the Zimbabwe Schools Examination Council (ZIMSEC) examinations.
Formal face-to-face classes were supposed to resume on 28 June before the government postponed the dates indefinitely.
This has proved a boon to underpaid teachers who have set up private online classes targeting pupils from both their schools and elsewhere.
Teachers are reportedly charging an average of US$15 per month for primary school students, US$10 per subject for Ordinary Level students and US$15 per subject for Advanced Level learners.
A Harare-based teacher who spoke to NewZimbabwe.com said the coronavirus is proving to be a blessing in disguise. He said:
While COVID-19 has affected our lives, it has brought with it some good fortune. Online classes are raking in good money for me. I teach Advanced Level Chemistry and my online class has 27 students.
Pupils refer their colleagues to me because they know I am good at what I do and the fact that I am a ZIMSEC certified Chemistry examinations marker works in my favour.
Another primary school teacher told the publication that parents are desperate for their children to acquire the best education and were willing to pay in US dollars. She said:
I charge US$10 per child per month for my online Grade Seven class of 32 students. I will continue with these lessons even when the government gives the nod for schools to reopen because I am getting way more than my salary from these lessons.
A senior teacher in Zimbabwe is getting a salary of $22 000 which fetches around US$169 on the black market.
Meanwhile, the Consumer Council of Zimbabwe (CCZ) recently said an average family of six in Zimbabwe requires $40 680 per month.