BULAWAYO – The government has ordered Grade 7 pupils to continue attending school, this after their final examinations ended on Monday this week.
The ministry of primary and secondary education says Grade 7 pupils must go through what it calls a “Life Orientation Programme”, but teachers’ unions are critical, saying no consultations were made.
Schools inspectors have been instructed to remind heads to keep pupils at school, and also “submit time tables for the Life Orientation Programme” while also providing “time attendance statistics daily,” according to a memo from Jameson Machimbira, the provincial education director for Harare.
The Progressive Teachers Union of Zimbabwe (PTUZ) said teachers were never consulted.
“The poor teachers have no idea what they will be teaching,” PTUZ secretary general Raymond Majongwe said.
He also questioned if O’ Level and A’ Level candidates will also be forced to stay at school after finishing writing.
Added Majongwe: “What happened to stakeholder engagement? Schools are not paddocks. This is crazy! Why invent new rules mid-flight? Let the kids and the teachers rest. Preparations for examinations are a tough game.”
In a document released by the ministry titled ‘Zimbabwe Education Blueprint 2015-2022 – Curriculum Framework for Primary and Secondary Education,’ the ministry said: “The period from the end of the fourth form and the start of Lower Sixth form school term is used by all learners to reinforce their life-skills orientation.”
The document is silent on Grade 7 learners.