Unregistered schools face closure

All unregistered private schools will soon be closed as Government does not have mechanisms to ensure quality and inclusive education in those institutions, Primary and Secondary Education Minister Torerai Moyo has said.

Responding to inquiries from journalists during a Post Cabinet briefing, Minister Moyo said all private schools ought to be registered or else they will soon face closure. Minister Moyo said he will soon present a paper before Cabinet that will see all unregistered schools being shut down.

“The Government plans to ensure that we establish as many schools as possible because we have a deficit in terms of the number of schools. The latest information is that we have a shortage of close to 2 800 schools.

“The shortage has seen the proliferation and mushrooming of schools which we want to define as private,” said Minister Moyo.

“I have to be very clear, the private schools that we want must be registered with the Ministry of Primary and Secondary Education. Those that are mushrooming in the high-density suburbs in the majority of cases, are illegal schools because they are not registered.

“They are operating illegally, in fact, we are going to come up with a paper that I will present in Cabinet where we are going to outlaw those schools, perhaps we might give them a grace period depending on what Cabinet would have recommended. We are going to close all the illegal schools operating illegally.”

He said all institutions providing education must meet prescribed educational standards and the Ministry was unable to regulate an institution if it is not registered with them.

“As a Ministry, we are supposed to ensure that there is quality, equitable and inclusive education. But in the so-called private school that we have seen, somebody will have a school in his or her backyard, and learners are squeezed or jam-packed in a very small room and chances of diseases spreading are high because the condition compromises quality.

“Those are the schools that we do not want. We want private schools to be registered according to specifications of the Ministry where we can control the quality,” said Minister Moyo.

Earlier on, Information, Publicity and Broadcasting Services Minister, Dr Jenfan Muswere said Minister Moyo and Home Affairs and Cultural Heritage Minister Kazembe Kazembe presented progress reports made in the implementation of priority projects for the 100-day cycle of 2024 under their purview.

He said the progress report included registration of 40 newly built and existing satellite schools in all the provinces was on course for completion by the end of the cycle, while upgrading of school infrastructure, rehabilitation and upgrading of classroom blocks administration offices, accommodation, water and sanitation hygiene facilities at 11 schools were on course for completion by end of the cycle.

“The construction and conversion of 100 laboratories at schools in Manicaland, Matabeleland North, Harare Metropolitan, Masvingo, and Mashonaland provinces is on course for completion by the end of the cycle and the construction of four sustainable and affordable boarding facilities in Manicaland, Masvingo and Mashonaland East provinces to reduce walking distances for learners is on course for completion by end of the cycle,” said Dr Muswere.

He said Minister Kazembe reported projects under his purview that included the establishment of the Howard Mission Community Archive in Mashonaland Central Province which is 20 percent complete and resource mobilisation for the decentralisation of e-passport services to Gokwe South, Midlands province is currently underway.

“The storyline of development and the collection acquisition exercise in all wards have been conducted for the refurbishment of Nambya Community Museum at Hwange, Matabeleland North Province; and 15 percent of the overall works on the Online Border Management System has been completed,” said Dr Muswere.

Herald

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