School closing dates unchanged

Primary and Secondary Education Minister Torerayi Moyo during a media briefing in Harare (Photo: Sunday Mail)
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SCHOOL closing dates for the third term remain unchanged despite the two-day delay in opening schools on account of last month’s harmonised elections, but Government will announce measures to compensate for the learning time lost.

Most schools delayed opening by two days to pave the way for President Mnangagwa’s inauguration following his re-election during the August 23-24 harmonised elections.

Government is also preparing to clamp down on schools that are turning away learners for non-payment of tuition fees and levies, and those that unilaterally increased fees without approval.

Addressing a Press conference yesterday, Minister of Primary and Secondary Education Mr Torerai Moyo said the authorities were considering extending learning hours to allow learners to catch up, ahead of their final examinations.

“The Ministry of Primary and Secondary Education wishes to inform the public and its valued stakeholders that December 1, 2023 has been maintained as the closing date of the school calendar,” he said.

“Arrangements have been made for schools to utilise the most appropriate and effective catch-up strategies to compensate for the two-day postponement of the opening of schools for day scholars from September 4 to September 6. We have put in place measures to make sure that children are not disadvantaged by this postponement.

“We called upon school authorities to utilise all the time available at their disposal to ensure that learners are not disadvantaged.”

The ministry, he said, was awaiting Cabinet approval to begin clamping down on schools sending away learners for non-payment of tuition fees and levies.

“Heads of schools and school authorities should desist from sending away pupils for non-payment of fees and levies, nor should they demand school fees and levies exclusively in foreign currency,” Minister Moyo added.

“We wish to inform school authorities that it is an offence to turn away pupils for non-payment of tuition fees and levies.

“We have put in place a cocktail of measures to deal with defiant schools, with the measures set to start applying next week (this week).”

Education authorities last week launched an investigation targeting schools that were demanding tuition fees and levies exclusively in foreign currency.

Acting Permanent Secretary in the ministry Ms Kwadzanayi Nyanungo said the authorities were monitoring and enforcing strict compliance with the provisions of circular number 1 of 2023, which provides standard guidelines for the determination and processing of applications for the increase in school fees and levies.

Minister Moyo said preparations for 2023 Grade Seven public examinations were at an advanced stage.

The exams begin on Monday next week. – Sunday Mail