Schools re-opening to provide lifeline to private school owners, employees

By ZBC Reporter

Government’s nod for schools to reopen, initially for examination classes, will provide a financial lifeline to private school employees who are paid from proceeds of school fees.

Private schools, which directly employ over ten thousand teachers countrywide, suffered a huge financial blow due to the COVID-19 induced lockdown as most solely depend on fees for survival.

Some workers have since lost their jobs in the process.

“We were affected badly and some are out of work as we depend on school fees. There is hope now that schools are going to open,” said James Manyoka, a private school headmaster.

Private school owners welcomed the reopening of schools but appealed for a sector specific approach and assistance in ensuring that schools are ready to deal with COVID-19.

“We applaud Government for allowing schools to reopen but for the private education sector which also contributes to education development in the country we need to be bailed out so that we remain afloat and also even be allowed to collect fees from non examination classes since we do not rely on Government funds,” an education entrepreneur Mavis Mavhunga said.

“There are check lists that we have been given to comply with so that we are ready to bring students but our capacity to comply may be impacted by limited funds since we will only collect money from exam classes only,” Benjamin Ganyiwa, a school owner said.

Pupils are excited at the prospect of a classroom environment which is more favorable compared to online learning.

Government is finalising guidelines for schools reopening with Cambridge examinations classes set to open on 14 September and ZIMSEC classes two weeks later.