Tuesday, 12 July 2016

STAY AWAY : GOVT THREATENS SCHOOL HEADS

It is illegal for schools to send circulars prohibiting children from coming to school as the setting up of the school calendar is the sole prerogative of the permanent secretary, Primary and Secondary Education Deputy Minister, Professor Paul Mavhima has said.


As such, school heads found guilty of the charge will be dragged to disciplinary hearings.
Deputy Minister Mavhima said the school calendar was in full swing, and children were in the middle of writing mid-year examinations, and any disturbances will be dealt with accordingly.

The warning comes amid reports that some school authorities yesterday sent notices to parents informing them that there would be industrial action against Government today.
Shadowy groups and opposition political parties have called for industrial action from today till Friday despite fruitful engagements between Government and its employees.

“If there is any headmaster who has sent notices, be it verbal or formal, that head is acting illegally. The industrial action you are referring to is illegal and a chargeable offence as there is no headmaster who has authority to stop children from coming to school,” said Prof Mavhima.

“It is a chargeable offence because they are infringing on the rights of the learners. If we get such information, a disciplinary committee will sit and decide on the punishment upon verifying the facts.”
With regards to Trust and private schools sending pupils away, Prof Mavhima said today was not a public holiday, and any action taken against the school calendar will be deemed “politically motivated”.
Said Prof Mavhima: “We have serious reservations when Trust schools stop children from coming to school. They have to explain to us the motive otherwise the only interpretation we can get is that the act is political.

“They depend on their own salary scales and the success or failure of their pupils is dependent on their work output.”

In one of the notices seen by our Harare Bureau, Hellenic Academy headmaster Ms Suzanne Joscelyne sent a notice informing parents of the “uncertainty” regarding today’s school activities.

She went on to reschedule timetables for upcoming examinations and informed parents that school will only be open for study purposes.

“Once again, we find ourselves in a position of much uncertainty surrounding tomorrow, Wednesday, 13 July and Thursday, 14 July. As the entire school is in the midst of examinations, we do not want to disadvantage those pupils who might not be able to come to school. All pupils must have the chance to write their examinations at the same time and without any stress. Therefore, tomorrow and Thursday’s examinations will be re-scheduled,” reads part of the notice.

“All examinations due to be written tomorrow (Wednesday, 13 July), will now be written on Friday, 15 July along with any examination that was already scheduled for that day. We have looked at the load this creates and are confident that this is manageable for all pupils in the school.” chronicle

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