Primary and Secondary Education Ministry Permanent Secretary Tumisang Thabela has urged teachers to sacrifice more time with struggling examination class pupils to catch up but warned against charging parents money for the tutorials.
Speaking to the media in Shurugwi on Thursday on the sidelines of a handover ceremony of a bus to Impali Primary School and new laboratory block for Selukwe Chrome Secondary School – both projects funded by Unki Mine to the tune of US$300 000, Thabela said she used to dedicate more time for pupils herself when she was still a teacher.
“I am a teacher, I used to hold extra lessons in the evening for boarding learners and even during the weekends, but it was just to catch up, it had nothing to do with money,” she said.
“If the teacher says I think we are behind and arranges with the parents and the pupils to come for extra lessons and there is no cost passed on to parents, I think that will be good also. As government, we would want such arrangements. However, there should be no charge for such extra-lessons.”
The permanent secretary’s statements come at a time teachers in Midlands schools are charging between US$5 and US$10 per subject for extra lessons, to augment their meagre salaries.
However, Thabela said government policy is that no parent must be charged to have their children taught by teachers outside normal hours or on weekends.
She said government would crack the whip on any teacher found charging money for extra lessons.
“Holding extra lessons at a cost is not allowed and those found doing the opposite will be disciplined,” she warned.