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Education policy, Sen Coltart, Dr Mahere clash

by Staff reporter
04 Sep 2011 at 05:34hrs | Views
EDUCATION, Sport, Arts and Culture Minister Senator David Coltart has clashed with Permanent Secretary Dr Stephen Mahere over the former's plans to allow Trust schools to run their affairs without Government oversight.

Sources revealed last week that Sen Coltart want a clause granting the schools total independence into the education sector reform programme, The Herald Online has reported.

If the plan succeeds, the learning institutions would be free to produce their own school calendar, set tuition fees and levies as well as write external examinations of their choice.

The sources said tensions escalated after Dr Mahere resisted the move, resulting in the clash that has seen the two fail to exchange kind words over a month.

"The two have been at each other's throats since (Dr) Mahere blocked (Sen) Coltart's bid to give Trust schools more freedom," said a source.

"The minister sought to revert to the old system where Government had no say whatsoever in what happened at these schools.

"Had (Sen) Coltart's proposals been accepted, this would have resulted in private schools being given the freedom to levy their own school fees and produce their own calendar while writing foreign examinations of their choice."

Last week the minister denied there was bad blood.

He said education sector reform documents do not recognise the existence of Trust schools.

"That is absolute nonsense! If you look at the documents that we have produced so far on the education sector reform, you will realise that at no point is there reference to Trust schools.

"We view all schools as the same and see no need to draw distinctions between them at all."

Dr Mahere refused to comment.

Source - Zimpapers

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