Farai Dauramanzi Herald Reporter
So far 287 of the 435 private schools found operating illegally in Harare at the beginning of the year have gone through the licensing and other requirements, and now the authorities are moving against the 148 still operating illegally and these face closure while their heads face arrest.
The clampdown is directed by the Office of the Minister of State for Provincial Affairs and Devolution for Harare Metropolitan Province.
In a statement yesterday, Secretary for Provincial Affairs and Devolution for Harare Mr Tafadzwa Muguti said the office had repeatedly encouraged private schools operating in the province to ensure that they fully comply with the Education Act.
“On the 17th of January 2022 the province working with the Ministry of Primary and Secondary Education launched a blitz on 435 schools operating illegally in the province and issued a 30-day notice for these schools to regularise their operations,” said Mr Muguti.
The schools were given a grace period to get organised and regularised rather than being immediately closed to minimise disruption to the children attending these schools. Most are very small, the larger private schools having mostly gone through the proper processes when they opened.
The deadline was extended to March 31 by the Ministry of Primary and Secondary Education, but to date, “only 287 schools have successfully” applied for licenses and are awaiting to be processed by the Provincial Education Directorate.
“It is regrettable that we continue to have some individuals who seek to undermine the laws of the land, in particular the Education Act.
“To this effect all schools operating illegally that failed to comply since the 17th of January 2022 shall now be shutdown whilst the heads and directors including board members of these schools shall be arrested for contravening the Education Act.
“The full list of all the illegal schools shall be published in the local newspapers and social media,” added Mr Muguti.