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Parents challenge minister


PARENTS of children attending Fitchlea Primary School in Kwekwe have petitioned Primary and Secondary Education minister Lazarus Dokora over his directive barring schools from conducting extra lessons.


Fitchlea achieved a 100% pass rate in the 2013 Grade 7 examinations and parents of 41 pupils due to sit for Grade 7 exams this year held a highly charged meeting at the weekend where they demanded that school headmaster Douglas Kunze ensures their children have extra lessons.

However, Kunze told the parents that he could not go against a ministerial directive and ask teachers to conduct extra lessons as that would get them fired.

“As a civil servant, we operate under directives which we cannot breach and the standing directive is that we will not be allowed to conduct extra lessons at school or privately.

“I can only refer you to the district education officer if you wish to be addressed on this matter,” Kunze told parents at the meeting.

The School Development Association (SDA) chairperson Petros Shoko said his committee would approach education officials in a bid to get that directive reversed.

“We achieved a 100% pass rate last year due to dedication by our teachers and the provision of extra lessons went a long way in ensuring pupils were well prepared for examinations. We will lead this effort to try and ensure that the decision is reversed,” Shoko said.

Some parents who spoke to our sister paper NewsDay said the ministerial directive had the effect of plunging the country’s education back into the abyss after showing some signs of recovery.

“This (directive) to me looks like a political stance which will reverse all the gains we have made as a school and country in terms of the pass rate,” one parent Taurai Manjome said.

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