The Justice Loice Matanda Moyo-chaired Zimbabwe Anti-Corruption Commission (ZACC), has reportedly started investigating six schools from Harare which are being accused of demanding foreign currency as payment for extra lessons, an official has revealed.
On the other hand, the anti-corruption watchdog is also pressing for the gazetting of laws that criminalise the conducting of extra lessons for a fee.
According to ZACC Ethics and Public Education Manager Dr Munyaradzi Magiga, charging of foreign currency for extra lessons has now become ‘a national problem’, and in Harare, some teachers who were demanding foreign currency have since been ordered to reimburse the monies to parents.
“We have received many reports, some coming through the media, our website as well as individuals coming to our offices. They have been complaining that teachers are charging in forex for extra lessons. What the teachers are doing is that they charge at least US$12 a month per pupil. At some schools 70 percent of the money goes to the teacher and 30 percent to the administration,” said Dr Magiga on the sidelines of the National Anti-Corruption Strategy validation workshop in Bulawayo on Monday.
In his justifications, Dr Magiga said demanding foreign currency payments for extra lessons in Zimbabwe is illegal primarily because the country’s education system is not paid for in forex.
“We have, working together with the provincial education director and the Ministry of Primary and Secondary Education, ordered teachers from six schools in Harare to reimburse parents who have been paying forex for extra lessons. We have directed the school authorities to ensure parents sign documents confirming that they have been reimbursed their money,” Dr Magiga said.
He also revealed that failure by the teachers to reimburse the money, would lead to prosecution. Dr Magiga also said demanding forex for extra-lessons was making education inaccessible to the poor adding that processes for establishing a statutory instrument that criminalises teaching of extra lessons for a fee were underway.
Primary and Secondary Education deputy minister Edgar Moyo said it was worrying that some teachers were no longer teaching during normal working hours, and delayed covering syllabi in a bid to find excuses for conducting extra lessons.