The Primary and Secondary Education ministry had banned extra lessons and threatened to unleash the Zimbabwe Anti-Corruption Commission (Zacc) to swoop on teachers defying its directive.
In an about turn, the ministry said extra lessons were necessary to allow students to catch up ahead of their final year examinations.
“This strategy should provide an opportunity for pupils to catch up with the syllabus demands in preparation of their summative examinations at the end of the year in view of the lost learning time experienced during the long school disclosures,” a circular dated August 2, 2022, by Primary and Secondary Education ministry secretary Tumisang Thabela reads in part.
School heads welcomed the development, but said it was a bit too late as schools open in a fortnight.
“We commend the government for realising the importance of holiday lessons but the exercise was approved at the last minute,” Zimbabwe National Union of School Heads secretary-general Munyaradzi Majoni said.
In April, Justice Legal and Parliamentary Affairs minister Ziyambi Ziyambi told legislators in Parliament that a decision to ban extra lessons was taken after noting that school terms were sufficient to cover material required for examinations.
Before the ban, schools would conduct holiday lessons usually for two weeks, allowing slow learners to catch up.
Unions representing teachers had said the ban on extra lessons was not in the best interests of both learners.