Tafadzwa Ndlovu and Nyemudzai Kakore
Most schools in Chitungwiza and Mashonaland East were caught off-guard recently when Primary and Secondary Education Minister Dr Lazarus Dokora unexpectedly visited.
School heads and staff are said to have panicked when the minister and his entourage comprising his deputy Cde Larry Mavhima, provincial education director Mr Christopher Chihota and the district education officer for Seke, Mr Rich Matimbe conducted impromptu inspection of the schools.
Financial management records for some schools were said to be in shambles and Dr Dokora had to interrogate some headmasters over the way they ran school affairs.
Speaking after the inspection of some of the schools, Minister Dokora said he had decided to make the visits to get first-hand information on how schools were run with a view to taking steps to correct irregularities which were compromising the education sector.
Over the years, most Zimbabwean schools have been plagued by examination leakages, financial mismanagement, poor performance and failure by parents to settle fees.
“We expect through these inspections, which are totally unannounced, to see things in good order,” Dr Dokora said.
“Obviously there will be consequences. Our senior managers like district education officers and provincial education officers must keep a close eye on these institutions.
“We have just started and once we have left the province, the provincial education director and his team will take action.”
He said schools should take a cue from schools like Mandedza High School which was properly run by its headmaster Mr Takesure Kanyemba.
“At Mandedza High School there is sound governance and one would hope that if our schools were run like this school, we wouldn’t be moaning,” Minister Dokora said.
Despite the challenges in the education sector, Zimbabwe still maintains its pole position in Africa when it comes to literacy levels in Africa.
At 91 percent, Zimbabwe leads the literacy rate on the continent.