So last week the government through a circular written by Provincial education director Jabulani Mpofu, instructed schools which had a pass rate of less than 30% to conduct compulsory vacation lessons in April and August for Grade 5-7.

The government has since relented and withdrew the order. Mr Mpofu issued another circular withdrawing this order:

AMMENDMENT OF THE PREVIOUS COMMUNICATION ON VACATION SCHOOLS: MATABELELAND NORTH PROVINCE

This serves to correct the previous communication on the 2019 April and August vacation schools during during holidays.

The issue of Grade 5,6, Form 3 and L6 has been shelved for this year as it is a new phenomenon, pending discussions on it by all stakeholders on the way forward for future.

However, only Grade 7, Form 4 and U6 can attend the vacation school if the school can afford to hold it, and for the number of days which the school has planned for, not necessarily the 10 days.

The province is encouraging schools to engage their stakeholders and hold the vacation school towards improving their results and eradicating the 0% pass rate. No school is forced to hold the vacation school.

mat_north_circular_reversal-min.jpg

Government gives in to pressure

As predicted such a move drew the ire of teachers, students and parents. Teachers because it will mean they would not get essential rest during the holiday, parents because it would probably mean they would end up paying additional fees during the holiday.