The Ministry of Secondary and Primary Education has said it will send a message that will be a deterrent to teachers conducting privately-paid extra lessons.
The Ministry said some teachers are not doing their work during normal learning hours to corruptly earn more income from desperate parents through extra lessons.
Mr Taungana Ndoro, the ministry’s spokesperson said the practice appeared to be particularly rife in Harare Metropolitan province where teachers were putting personal interests ahead of those of learners.
Under Government policy, teachers in the public system are forbidden to charge for extra lessons, although they may provide extra tuition for an entire class without extra pay.
Speaking during the second Integrity Icon Summit in Harare last Friday, Mr Ndoro said the government will send a message that will be a deterrent to teachers conducting extra lessons. The Herald cites him as saying:
The schools where you find issues of extra lessons are those schools in communities that are resourced but most of our schools are in the rural areas. In rural areas, it is nearly impossible to conduct paid-for extra lessons in places like Rushinga, Muzarabani, Gokwe, Nkayi, Bulilima and others. But go to the urban and metropolitan areas, Glen View, Highfield, Mabvuku, Mpopoma, Pumula, that’s where you start having this problem and we can count those number of schools. They are just a fraction so the integrity is still intact.
We want to send a clear message that makes it a deterrent for anyone to be unethical. There are a lot of teachers, some of whom have 15 to 20 years of experience right now, who would never take money for extra lessons before but are now also doing it because quite a number of their colleagues are doing it. They have also joined the bandwagon.
There are heads who were morally upright but because another head within their district is taking money for enrolment, they are also doing it. This is where we say we need deterrent prosecutions.
Reports suggest that some teachers are demanding from US$5 to US$10 from each pupil for extra lessons and those who fail to pay are neglected during regular lessons.
Zimbabwean teachers are among the lowest-paid in the region. They argue that they conduct extra lessons to complement the “insufficient” salaries they get from the government.
They have been embarking on periodic protests to force the government to restore their pre-October 2018 salaries which were around US$540.
The Zimbabwe Anti-Corruption Commission (ZACC) last year said it is illegal for teachers to ask parents to pay fees for extra lessons adding that the practice constitutes corruption.
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