Government shuts-down all schools operating illegally, tens of thousands of pupils affected

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By Anna Chibamu

GOVERNMENT has closed 150 schools in Harare after they failed to register in a development that will leave thousands of pupils stranded. 

According to education ministry statistics, some 22 569 are set to be affected by the decision. 

In a statement Monday, secretary for provincial affairs and devolution in the president’s office Tafadzwa Muguti said the schools’ authorities would be arrested for contravening the Education Act. 

The decision follows an education ministry blitz on 435 schools operating illegally, in January this year. 

Only 287 managed to regularise their operations following a 30-day ultimatum which was further extended to March 31, 2022. 

“Since January this year, 287 out of 435 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 laws of the land in particular the Education Act,” said Muguti. 

To this effect all schools operating illegally, that failed to comply since January 17, 2022 shall now be shutdown whilst the heads and directors including board members of these schools shall be arrested for contravening the Education Act. 

Muguti further said the list of all illegal schools will be published in local media and social media without specifying when that is going to be done. 

The education ministry is coordinating a similar exercise in Bulawayo where the number of illegal schools is yet to be ascertained. 

Most of the schools are private institutions in medium to high density areas. 

They are expected to register with the ministry, Zimbabwe Revenue Authority (ZIMRA) and local authority.