A campaign to close all unregistered private schools will be launched soon as the Ministry of Primary and Secondary Education moves to bring order within the education sector.

Large numbers of unlicensed schools have spread across the country, a development that has harmed the quality of education.

Speaking during an assessment tour of schools in the northern Gokwe region last week, Primary and Secondary Education Minister Torirai Moyo said his ministry had noticed an increase in the number of unregistered private schools.

“Our ministry has noticed that there is a proliferation of private schools that are spreading everywhere in high-density suburbs and low-density suburbs. In the villages we hear someone say, ‘I now have a school. The school must be registered, that is the requirement.’”

The Ministry of Primary and Secondary Education regulates public and private schools.

“If schools are not registered with the Ministry of Primary and Secondary Education, it simply means that their operations cannot be regulated. As a ministry, we want to monitor the activities taking place in schools to monitor quality,” he said.

“We want to know the qualifications of teachers in such schools and also check their compliance with our circulars. So let me warn those who are running the schools illegally that there will come a time when we close all these unregistered schools.

Turning to the issue of non-payment of fees, Minister Moyo once again warned schools against withholding examination results. Schools must publish pupils’ results while negotiating with parents and guardians about how to settle debts.

The Minister also urged parents to ensure that school fees, levies and other payments are paid on time and adhere to their payment plans.

“We have tools to deal with those challenging schools that keep turning away students for non-payment of fees and tuition fees. I am not saying that learners should not pay tuition fees and fees, but parents should pay and pay on time.

“For those who are facing challenges, let us make some payment plans. You are supposed to announce the results of the candidates who took the public examinations.”

There were worrying reports of some schools withholding results due to fee arrears, while some public sector schools were going against government policy by turning away learners for non-payment of fees.

In Gweru, O-level students at Fletcher Secondary School are allegedly being denied access to their results due to non-payment of fees.

“Four years ago, when my son entered Fletcher High School, one of the requirements was to buy work suits, a tool box and some electrical components including ducts. But now we are told we owe the schools ducts,” said a disgruntled parent who asked to remain anonymous. .

“However, we understand that pupils who have refused to study these subjects are now being remedied.”

Midlands District Director of Education, Mr Jameson Matshimbira, said they were overwhelmed. Announce

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