BY DARLINGTON MWASHITA
A MASS exodus of students from expensive learning institutions due to astronomical fees and economic challenges has started rocking most schools with many parents transferring their children to day-government schools.
The receiving schools, according to teachers’ unions, are reportedly hit by overcrowding in a development which will result in many students failing to get places and teachers at those schools being overworked.
Since end of last year, many parents have been seeking places for their children at government day schools following reports of astronomical fees increases which were announced by private and government boarding schools.
However, teachers’ unions who spoke to NewsDay last week said the move would have a negative impact on learners as well as on government schools.
“Transferring of pupils to new schools affects their performances. Children will lose their teachers as they have to start afresh the syllabus with the new teacher. This is also a sign that parents can no longer afford fees for the children,” Zimbabwe Teachers’ Association chief executive officer Sifiso Ndlovu said.
“Good quality of education will be only available and accessed by the privileged children due to the economic challenges which are affecting the parents who can no longer afford quality education for the children,” he said.
Progressive Teachers’ Union of Zimbabwe secretary-general Raymond Majongwe said a number of children who were being transferred to new schools were in Form Three and Four, and that will affect their performance and concentration levels.
“This will result in overcrowding in government schools which will also affect the learning of pupils as government schools do not have enough learning materials such as text books will not be enough to sustain them as one class can have 60 to 90 children,” he said.
Majongwe said most government schools had inadequate health facilities and with the current situation of water rationing, pupils will be affected by several types of diseases.