The Ministry of Primary and Secondary Education ropes in ZACC to crack down on extra lessons
The Ministry of Primary and Secondary Education has enlisted the help of the Zimbabwe Anti-Corruption Commission (ZACC) to put an end to the practice of charging fees for extra lessons. The move comes after it was discovered that some teachers were instructing students to face the opposite direction during illegal extra lessons, and dismissing those who hadn’t paid for class.
Teachers who charge for extra lessons may face corruption charges
According to a statement by the Ministry, teachers who are found to be levying extra fees for tutorials will be liable for a corruption charge. The Ministry has made it clear that paid extra lessons, particularly during the school term, remain illegal and parents and guardians are advised not to continue feeding this practice.
Despite an announcement by the Ministry last month that there will be no extra lessons over the school holiday, some schools have gone ahead to conduct them in defiance of that directive. The Ministry has stated that pupils can be assigned holiday homework and asked to compile their Continuous Assessment Learning Activities, fully utilizing the available alternative learning methods at their disposal.
ZACC is cracking down on the extra-lesson scourge
In an interview with the Sunday News, the Director of Communication and Advocacy in the Ministry of Primary and Secondary Education, Mr Taungana Ndoro, said the Ministry had roped in ZACC to curb the extra-lesson scourge, as the act of charging for extra lessons was a chargeable offence. The Ministry is working with other law enforcement agencies to apprehend teachers charging for extra lessons, while also working on ways to publicize platforms where parents could report errant teachers.
“With regards to extra lessons, the Ministry’s position remains clear. Paid extra lessons, particularly during the school term remain illegal and parents and guardians are advised not to continue feeding the beast by continuously paying for these extra lessons as they exacerbate the situation that we are currently facing. This practise of paying for extra lessons is a chargeable offence and an act of misconduct. It is criminal abuse of office and corruption basically which is why we are working together with the Zimbabwe Anti-Corruption Commission to curb this scourge,” he said.
“We are also working with the Zimbabwe Republic Police and other authorities to try and combat this. Parents and teachers should both be held liable under the law for aiding and abetting this form of corruption. The Ministry has put in place platforms on social media where people can report such practise so that action is immediately taken in conjunction with the relevant authorities. Parents can send reports to our WhatsApp, Facebook, Twitter or even to our websites. You can even call our toll-free line, directly to our offices so that we can together tackle this scourge and ensure that all our learners continue to receive quality education and no one, and no place is left behind,” he said.
Parents and teachers who charge for extra lessons are at risk of facing corruption charges
Mr Ndoro has warned that parents and teachers who charge for extra lessons are also at risk of facing corruption charges. Parents are advised to turn in teachers that demand fees for extra lessons to the relevant authorities. The Ministry has put in place platforms on social media where people can report such practices so that action is taken immediately in conjunction with the relevant authorities.
“The idea of feeding the beast means that parents are complicit in aiding teachers that are demanding illicit payments for extra lessons and in most cases, these teachers end up not doing the job for which they are already paid for, for which they are already on a government salary, for which they are already on a responsible authority’s salary. Therefore, these paid-for extra lessons remain illegal and banned,” he said.