Abigail Mawonde Herald Correspondent
Lack of schools in newly-established suburbs in Harare has resulted in the mushrooming of illegal colleges, whose operations are not monitored by Government, Primary and Secondary Education Minister Professor Paul Mavima has said.
He said this at Kuwadzana 3 High School after paying a visit. Minister Mavima said some people were taking advantage of lack of schools in new settlements to start backyard colleges. He said his ministry will not allow operation of such illegal schools.
“I was once invited at a certain house at one of the cooperatives. This person had built a big house and he said there is an opportunity here. I will turn this 10-roomed house into a school. I will stay in the cottage. I told the person I will make sure you are arrested if you do that,” said Minister Mavima.
Minister Mavima added: “You can actually see that the shortage of schools is causing people to see such opportunities. Those colleges are illegal. You cannot monitor them. You do not know who is teaching there. They are destroying children as we watch.” Minister Mavima said it was the responsibility of Government to build schools. The country requires 2 056 new schools.
“The 17 that we are starting to build now is just a drop in the ocean,” he said. “We need to go on a massive schools development or infrastructure development programme in order to cover that gap of 2 056 schools.
“This is why we have appealed to parents to say while we are working on improving the economic situation, we need the help of parents.” Minister Mavima said some parents were failing to pay fees for their children and this was making it difficult for schools to operate efficiently.
At Kuwadzana 3 High School, 50 percent of parents had not paid fees by last week and Minister Mavima said it was not fair that some pupils were learning for free. He implored community leaders like legislators to engage parents over the importance of paying school fees. Minister Mavima said Government will this year enter into joint venture partnerships for the construction of school infrastructure.