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Teachers Vow to Defy Govt Directive Banning Extra Lessons

Zimbabwean teachers say they will defy government’s directive banning them from conducting holiday and extra lessons for children saying they are struggling from hand to mouth due to low pay.

The teachers say additional lessons are necessary to prepare school children for public examinations while the government argues that they are deliberately relaxing during the school term in order to get extra money from parents who pay between $1 and $5 per child per week for the lessons.

The state-controlled media quoted Education Minister Lazarus Dokora as saying teachers caught conducting the extra lessons will be dismissed.

Dokora was not available Tuesday for comment as his mobile phone was not being answered.

Sifiso Ndlovu of the Zimbabwe Teachers Association said they will engage the Ministry of Education on this issue.

“We want to condemn that instruction as wrongly informed because it seems to be informed by the ideology of money which is speaking to say teachers are making money out of extra lessons,” said Ndlovu.

Entry level teachers are earning salaries that are far below the poverty datum line estimated to be at $540 per month for an urban family of six.