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Ministry’s irony intriguing

I WAS intrigued by the simulated outrage of the Ministry of Education spokesperson “Private schools warned”, (Herald, July 5).

-serif”>The issue appeared to be that donations were being “coerced” or “forced” – a rather obvious contradiction. The fact that “coercion” is the alleged cause of so many ministry comments is somewhat ironical.

Consider the following: the ministry with the help of the police coerced the schools into closing – quite illegally according to the High Court. The ministry then coerced many school boards into accepting imposed fees – in my view, an illegal manoeuvre in terms of the Education Act, but of coercion there was no doubt.

The simple fact remains that no private school can coerce parents to send their children thither. Perhaps education in Zimbabwe would be better served by finding out why some people fail to send their children to government-run schools, once the pride of the nation.

It seems to me that the minister, with a general election imminent has so far succeeded in distracting the general public from the serious deterioration in public education during his tenure. We are informed that primary school enrolment has dropped from 90%+ four years ago to 67% now.

The pass rate for “O” level (Zimsec) in government schools is a mere 25% and for mathematics 16%.

Arresting private school heads, suspending public service heads, and using police to prevent children from coming to school seem to be very strange ways for any Minister of Education to behave, especially when there are other serious problems to be dealt with.

But then our minister is historically unique: is he not a national and political liability?

Concerned parent,


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