DISGRUNTLED parents with children enrolled at Admiral Tait Primary School have pleaded with the Government to investigate teachers at the Eastlea-based public school who are demanding a fee of US$20 per child per month for them to receive extra lessons.
Ivan Zhakata Suburban Reporter
A worried parent has since written to the Ministry of Primary and Secondary Education, the Zimbabwe Anti-Corruption Commission and copied the Admiral Tait Primary School head requesting for a probe into the matter as teachers are demanding extra money to conduct lessons.
“I am a parent with two children enrolled at Admiral Tait Primary School in Eastlea in Harare. I do not know if this can be the right platform to air my disgruntlement or sorrow. I want to draw your kind attention towards a concern which most parents with children attending Admiral Tait School have.
“Early this year an article came out in The Herald newspaper and made rounds on social media about teachers including some at this school demanding up to US$20 for extra lessons per child per month from Grades as low as Grade 1 to the exam classes.
“Despite this exposure, most of the teaching staff have remained adamant and openly boast to the pupils on how they are bound to fail if they do not pay for extra lessons as the teachers would not attend to them on a balanced scale, specific mention to one Mrs Hachinavamwe a Grade 6 teacher,” said the parent.
The parent said Government was making notable efforts in improving the welfare of teachers and children cannot be held to ransom in any disputes between the employer of teachers and the teachers.
The parent said parents of learners in examination classes were now in a difficult position unless the Ministry intervenes.
“With due respect and humble submission, I beg your good offices if it is within your powers, to look into this matter for the betterment of the education of the children as this practice is both unprofessional and disastrous to the education system of our nation.
“As an investigating tool, the Grade 6 teacher mentioned above is said to have opened a WhatsApp group for her and paid up children only and that is the platform she uses to request for payment for extra lessons.
“This lady is said to be invincible and is one of the senior teachers at the school.”
Added the parent: “So my plea to your good offices, is that if the conduct of some of the teachers at Admiral Tait School can be investigated and the culprits brought to book, sanity can return to the primary education system as well as the school’s reputation. Kindly refer to the correct platform or office should this concern fall out of your jurisdiction. Thank you in anticipation. Worried Parent.”
The Government has since banned extra lessons and urged parents to report any teachers demanding payments for extra lessons to the relevant authorities.
In February, the director of communications and advocacy in the Ministry of Primary and Secondary Education, Mr Taungana Ndoro, said the demand for extra money by teachers was illegal.
“Parents must report such teachers to district offices because this is illegal. Guardians and parents are urged to desist from promoting such unscrupulous activities and report the culprits to the nearest district office,” Mr Ndoro said.
In February, teachers at Admiral Tait Primary School and Avondale Primary School were being accused by parents of demanding US$20 a month for extra lessons.
Then the money was being charged under the guise of raising money for caretakers and other workers who maintain the schools, but these are also paid by the State.
Teachers at Avondale Primary School and its infant school were also reportedly demanding extra money from the children’s parents and guardians.