Education Minister John Phiri
Education Minister John Phiri

Minister of Education, Science, Vocational Training and Early Education John Phiri has prodded teachers to complete their syllabi on schedule to avoid the phenomenon of extra lessons.

“We want all teachers to start finishing the syllabus because what has been happening is that teachers have not been completing the syllabus and they have been opting for tuition fees.

“This should come to an end now because this is disadvantaging pupils from poor families,” Dr Phiri said.

He said no school shall be allowed to hold tuitions on holidays or during weekends unless such tuitions will be paid for by the school and will involve all the pupils.
The minister said this when he addressed teachers from all schools in Lusaka Province yesterday.

Dr Phiri said that Government will encourage internally-arranged tuitions, which will not attract any cost to pupils.

He also warned that no school – government, private or missionary – will host learners from other schools to provide extra tuitions unless that particular school organises its own pupils using its money.

“And any teacher who will be found or seen charging for extra lessons will be disciplined accordingly,” the minister said.

Teachers are currently banned from conducting extra lessons.

Dr Phiri also announced that with immediate effect, all class teachers from grades 8 to 12 shall avail subject syllabi to all the pupils at the beginning of each term.
He said subject teachers should write the syllabus on the board for the pupils to copy or give them handouts of the syllabus if resources are available so that the pupils can know what they are supposed to cover in that particular term.

Dr Phiri directed head teachers countrywide to ensure the directive is implemented.

He also called on pupils in all schools to ensure they report to the school administration through their class monitors or prefects any teacher failing to complete the syllabus on time.

And Dr Phiri has urged teachers to take a leading role in reducing the rate of pregnancies among pupils by inculcating good values and morals in them.

He said Government is disappointed by the increasing levels of pregnancies among pupils, adding that this is coming mainly due to them lacking knowledge on how to protect themselves from unwanted pregnancies.

Dr Phiri said the increase in the number of pregnancies among pupils is impacting negatively on Government’s efforts of attaining the millennium development goal (MDG) three, which calls for gender equality by eliminating gender disparity in primary and secondary education by 2015.

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25 COMMENTS

  1. Once upon a time we had what were called Remedial classes meant to pull up those who were lagging behind. Alas, this was steadily replaced by so-called tuition (there is a concocted version called TUTION or Tushoni). When systems break down the result is all sorts of illegal innovations. That said, I believe Phiri must not cast a blanket ban without addressing the deficits as they were originally recognized under the old system; it is not about ALL students – it is about those that NEED remediation.

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    • Well said @KAL. Let not the government rush and by doing so deny the children that lack behind. In every classroom, there will always be those who cannot copy with regular classwork and must be helped through extra lessons.

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  2. ….its either I’m out of touch of reality or John Phiri is. I’m not going to comment whether we ‘suspend’ extra tuitions or not….my concerned is the reason advanced. I was of the view that the main reason for extra lessons is to prop up those pupils who may be lagging behind because they are slow learners…or it serves as a revision exercise and certainly not because the teacher did not complete the syllabus. If the latter is the case, then John is right. But he(John) must also suggest how ‘slow learners’ can be helped because it may not be a fault of the teacher….

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    • @St Mary…
      …are u sure…??…whatever John is addressing is alluded to situations when the teacher fails to complete the syllabus….all I was asking is, how about slow learners..??

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    • These extra tuition were taken as business by teachers. There is no need to even argue about that. The need to prop up students who are lagging behind is there and I note it but teachers started forcing pupils to come for tuition. My nephew was forced to be going for extra tuition he didn’t need.
      The minister is right. Let those who have the need to have extra tuition arrange with teachers privately like it used to be done previously.

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    • @Scrutinizerer
      According to our all-knowing Minister, there is no such thing as SLOW LEARNER.

      The directive is good and is bad. It’s good in that some teachers abused the facility. It’s bad because a lot of students will fail! When I was a pupil in a rural School, we had serious shortages in Mathematics, Sciences and English Language. Most classes including mine went without teachers for whole months or terms.

      Most of us begged teachers from other classes to teach us in the night. These teachers were overloaded that is why they could not be allocated to our class. I was a teacher so I know how it’s tough when a teacher has to teach all the 40 periods on the time table.

      We passed well due to the extra lessons. Some pupils need remedial lessons. These are screwed without…

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    • remedial classes were like extra lessions but free,the minister said teach your so called slow learners free of charge because you are paid to do so.Even in Zimbabawe this nonsense has been stopped saying holiday tutions just confuse students instead of them refreshing,and that teachers are not baby seatters, parents should also find time to chat with their children especially during weekends and holidays, society will grow well.

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  3. you are right Karl, this seems like some kind of oppression without addressing the
    needs, these guys are exercising too much authority they will end up like joyce when 2016 comes, no solutions but removals of a lot of things.

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  4. and at least increase their salaries, this was the main cause for tuition’s after slow learning pupils

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  5. People in those days we never had amaisues abt tuitions,i think the minister here is right thy is nothing wrong let the sku provide the money 4 tuitions.

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  6. I believe the honourable Minister is right and there is urgent need to support him the government because teachers are contributing to the poor performance of pupils in schools in the name of tuition. Most pupils who cannot afford to pay attend extra lessons are being affected. Please, Sir go ahead, we are behind you.

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  7. BEFORE I EVEN READ THE FULL ARTICLE MY RESPONSE IS, GOOG, GOOD, GOOD. NOW, LET ME READ THE FULL ARTICLE.

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    • one can easily tell the age group of those in blanket support of John. Parents with children as old as 15,16,17 see the need and benefit of extra tuitions. Parents are never forced at gun point to arrange and pay for extra lessons..they actually choose to do so and sacrifice their little resources with a belief that they are doing everything possible to offer the best for their children.
      Those in support have only on thing on their mind..the money the parents pay the teachers for the service.The ‘slow learner’ pupil is nowhere in the picture.
      Somehow, some teachers also contribute to bring about this notion(money spinning venture for teachers). They take on as many as 30-40 pupils at the same time literally forming a class, such tuitions are supposed to be one on one basis.. 6-8 ok

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  8. I personally commend you honourable minister for the step you have taken. However, we have head so many pronouncements without any tangible results. Just follow up this time around and ensure that everybody complies including the private schools who feel they are immune from government directives such as this one. Parents are being exploited especially by private schools who connive with the so called PTA to make unnecessary demands despite charging colossal amounts of money. Remember the ban on the sale of uniforms in schools! Private schools have not at any time observed this, and I hope you are going to do something about this Mr minister.

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  9. ..why should John give pupils the responsibility to supervise and monitor their teachers…??..that is why we have deputy heads, head-teachers and inspector of schools to supervise the teachers on syllabus schedules and accomplishment

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  10. What do parents with struggling children say? What of parents who want their children to go to excellent schools?

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  11. This is perhaps the best thing any Power Failure(PF) minister has done!!!! If the teachers want to help slow learners, and we used to have such in my time, he/she should not ask for extra money!!! As soon as the issue of money comes in, you know that it is basically a business so even pupils not needing these extra lessons will be forced to attend. The other thing is that teachers will be lazy in regular time just in order to create more customers for the extra lessons. Dr. Phiri deserves a part on the back for this!!!!!

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  12. As a teacher, I see nothing wrong with conducting private extra lessons provided this is done outside my working hours and without using any GRZ facilities.

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  13. Before you come up with a directive (whether Silly or not) please consult. Acting on basis of money without finding out the main reasons is very destructive. This is not a dictatorship and please note that being a minister does not give you power to disrespect or insult TEACHERS. Real ministers are servants of the nation. How do expect a pupil to supervise his teacher?

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  14. I think some people are missing the point. john has not banned tuition. He said if there will be tuition at a particular school, let that school pay. not to subject pupils. Thinks about the so called slow learners coming from poor families who cant afford to pay the fee, should they be punished?

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    • @ILOGICAL…..
      You are very right when u say…’some people are missing the point’…just as u have missed it yourself. Your name befits the logic u are getting out of the directives. In your own logic, it may be seem practical but is it feasible for respective school to arrange for extra lessons for ALL the pupils and pay for it…..??

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  15. Mr John Phiri make your ministry of education website workable. put all syllabi there for free download. Remember syllabuses are bulk documents 40 pages on average, for 8 subjects that is 340. that is almost a ream of paper.

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