By Abigail Mawonde
Government has once again warned teachers that it is illegal to offer extra lessons to pupils for a fee.
In an interview on the sidelines of a tour of Glen View 2 Primary School in Harare yesterday, Primary and Secondary Education Minister Professor Paul Mavima said extra lessons were creating problems in the civil service.
“The Zimbabwean civil service has to be rationalised. There has to be equality within it. The issue of extra lessons had two problems.
The first one was to unequalise the civil service. Imagine if you went to social welfare and you were asked to pay extra for receiving the service that the social welfare officer is supposed to grant you. Would that be okay?
“Extra lessons also had a problem where one cannot have rational civil service with extra lessons. What if teachers then do not teach during the normal time waiting for parents to pay something in order to receive a service that you were supposed to receive from Government anyway?
‘’So the issue of extra lessons had serious problems. It would affect the motivation of the teacher to teach during normal working hours and it disequalised the civil service,” he said. Minister Mavima said Government will not allow teachers to be paid for extra lessons.
“So we are not going back to a situation where teachers are paid for extra lessons. But we are not saying no to extra lessons per se. What we are saying no to is the payment.
‘’Motivated teachers will request to have space created for them so that they can better teach their students and achieve effectiveness. So it is not necessarily the extra lessons but the payment of extra lessons that removed all rationality in the whole process,” he said.
Minister Mavima said his Ministry was going ahead with the implementation of the new education curriculum.
“We are going to continue with implementation of the new curriculum. In fact this school (Glen View 2) exemplifies this new curriculum – in terms of teaching self-reliance, in terms of teaching heritage, we have seen what is here in terms of the cultural village, ICTs (Information Communication Technologies) among others,” he said.
“So, we are going ahead but let me add a quick cover to say we have gone through one year of implementation of that new curriculum, obviously there are teething problems to it and it is now time for us to review and see how implementation has gone and we will definitely work on some areas.”
Added Minister Mavima: “There have been recommendations already especially around issues of tasks, issues of scheduling, issues of making sure that the syllabi that are being offered are age appropriate.
So we are going to look at those issues but those are implementation issues.
They do not impact on the overall objective of the curriculum and so we will be going ahead with implementation of its overall objective.
“Remember we are saying we want critical thinking, problem solving, we want more of the STEAM – Science, Technology, Arts and Mathematics.
We cannot go back on that. To go back on that is actually to take us back to the 20th century.
We are in the 21st century and our curriculum here in Zimbabwe has to live up to the demands of the 21st century.” The Herald