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'Errant private schools risk deregistration'

by Staff reporter
12 Mar 2021 at 06:07hrs | Views
PRIVATE schools which began their operations before the 2021 three-term school calendar was announced risk deregistration for violating government policy, Primary and Secondary Education deputy minister Edgar Moyo told Parliament on Wednesday.

Moyo told MPs that well-resourced private schools continued with online lessons following their own calendars since March last year after the disruption of physical learning by the COVID-19 pandemic.

Due to disruption of the school calendar, some private schools are beginning their holiday, while others are on mid-term break.

At the same time, government-run schools are reopening for the 2021 first term on Monday next week.

Moyo said despite that private schools had been conducting lessons online, following the government calendar was mandatory.

"We have received a lot of complaints regarding trust schools and some independent schools that are operating outside the parameters given by the ministry.

"We have already drafted a letter to the board that oversees these private schools, which letter I am sure has already been sent because yesterday it was being discussed and sent to those respectively. In fact, if they insist on going against the calendar they risk deregistration."

Norton MP Temba Mliswa (Independent) called on government to act on private schools which refused to correlate with government-run schools.

"Government has allowed private schools to run their little Rhodesia. They do not compete with other schools in terms of sport. Why is the ministry allowing discrimination to happen in these private schools through sports and why is it allowing them to hike school fees when there has not been revenue for the entire country because of COVID-19?" Mliswa asked.

Moyo said he would investigate the issue of segregation, adding that government was not responsible for pegging fees. He said this was an arrangement between schools and parents.

In a statement yesterday, Primary and Secondary Education permanent secretary Tumisang Thabela said: "All well-meaning public and private schools should, therefore, abide by the ministry's 2021 school calendar. Any deviation from the above school calendar announced will attract censorship with the sternest penalty being deregistration of the deviant school."

Source - newsday