THE letter published in the Zambia Daily Mail on August 10, 2017, entitled ‘Holiday tuition resurrected in public schools’ written by Mule Mule of Kafue,
cannot go without comment. Mule complained that he or she has three children at three different schools, each demanding about K450 as tuition fees, the amount which the author alleges goes towards payment of teachers.
For the past three or so years, Lusaka Province has been the tail-enders as far as Grade 12 results are concerned. As the motto for the province ‘To do my best always’, the province wants to reclaim its dominance as far as academic and extra-curricular activities are concerned.
To do this, the province has embarked on a vigorous catch-up strategy for all examination classes. This is through extra lessons which will be conducted by experienced teachers, most of whom are examiners at school certificate level.
This is a period when pupils will be exposed to exam papers and how to handle exam questions. This is the time when pupils will be counselled and coached on how to handle pressure during the exams. It is also the time to catch up on the topics which pupils find challenging during the normal teaching time.
May I stress that Chongwe District Education Board Secretary (DEBS) emphasised the need for this catch-up programme, which is free at primary and day secondary schools.
Boarding schools are charging a minimal amount to buy food and pay the chefs. There is nothing wrong with giving our dedicated teachers a small amount of money which they could use to recharge their mobile phones with airtime, which is far less than their salaries.
Can Mule provide evidence that the fees charged will be used to pay teachers? Please, don’t demonise the teachers, after all, the catch-up programme is not compulsory. If Mule and other parents think they can’t afford to take their children for such programmes, let them not do so. Letters of consent were sent to parents and those not willing will not be forced to attend lessons.
As for Chongwe, the teachers will go flat out to be on top in the province as it strives to do the best always.