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Teachers, Parents Cataclysm in Primary Education

The government is working hard to avail quality education for all regardless of economic background.

The pass rate has been on a downward trend in a number of schools across the country.

Every child has the right to an education. They should have access to quality education but now it has become strenuous for parents to afford and meet the call by teachers who are demanding exorbitant unnecessary charges thereby causing a lot of dropouts and students lagging in class.

Instead of prioritising in-class lessons, teachers are giving more attention to illegal extra lessons which they charge around US$4 per week which adds up to US$48 per term which is more than the school fees in most schools.

A parent is required to fork out huge sums of money just to carter for extra lessons. An individual pupil needs at least US$78 per term regardless of the economic challenges faced by the country due to sanctions.

The issue of extra lessons has been with us for e very long time without being addressed. Pupils whose parents can not afford to pay for extra lessons are neglected as teachers concentrate on those attending extra lessons.

In some instances those not attending extra lessons are made to sit at the back in classes.

Extra lessons should be voluntary, not mandatory. Talking to one of the parents at Farai Primary School in Chitungwiza she said,

“The teacher posted a very threatening message in the WhatsApp broadcasting group saying it would affect your pupil if she learnt that you had reported against her.

She intimated that she was immune to whatever school disciplinary acts within the school or with the headmaster”.

Given such threats parents end up giving in and join the bandwagon in paying for illegal extra lessons.

In some cases you realise that you are being fleeced as the upper grades do not have time for the extra lessons as their normal lessons end later in the day.

This has left the education system corrupted since these issues remain unsolved. Parents are looking forward to inspectors enforcing the law like old times.

There is rampant vending in schools by the teachers.

They are selling branded bags, uniforms, bottle, drinks, and covers.

We urge authorities to stop the rot at the schools and ensure our children have access to education in a friendly environment.

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Dr Bimha
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