Govt considers hot seating in former group A schools

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THE government is seriously considering introducing hot seating for early childhood development education (ECD) in former group A schools in Bulawayo due to the high demand for places as some classes have as many as 60 pupils.

Chief Reporter

Plans to introduce hot seating were disclosed at an annual general meeting at Milton Junior School on Monday.

School head, Pettie Nyoni said there was a high possibility that hot seating will be introduced.

“There was a high demand for places at Milton (Junior School) this year, but there is a shortage of infrastructure and we can’t accommodate everyone,” she said.

“The ECD class is using a workshop, which is being renovated.

“The ministry (of Education) is considering introducing hot seating at Milton.

“This is because there is demand for places.”

Nyoni said the enrolment stood at 1 043 pupils and 31 trained teachers.

This was buttressed by an education officer only identified as J Ndebele, who said enrolment at former group A schools had surged as parents ignored high-density schools.

“It’s you parents, who are forcing the government to introduce hot seating because of high demand,” she said.

“Parents are seeking places at Milton and other former group A schools, but they are ignoring schools in their townships.”

Ndebele said some ECD classes had 60 pupils when the recommended number is 30.

“The pupil-to-teacher ratio is very high and this puts a strain on teachers and it contributes to poor pass rates,” she said.

“As long as numbers for places keep ballooning, hot seating will definitely be introduced.”

Ndebele said schools where now free to apply to the ministry for an ECD levy, which will be channelled towards building classroom blocks.

Meanwhile, outgoing school development association (SDA) chairman, Phikisani Siziba said the school will not hesitate to send debt collectors on opening day to defaulting parents.

Siziba said most parents were now abusing a government directive, which bars schools from sending away pupils for non-payment of tuition fees.

“A new disturbing attitude from parents is now developing that is on not paying fees and levies,” he said.

“They are taking advantage of a government directive that pupils should not be chased away.

“But this has caused friction between the SDA and parents.”