The Early Childhood Association of Zimbabwe (ESAZ) has appealed to the Government for a three-month grace period for unregistered private schools to regularise their operations.
This comes after Harare Metropolitan Provincial Affairs and Devolution secretary Tafadzwa Muguti last week gave unregistered schools a 48-hour ultimatum to shut down on their own or face prosecution.
ECAZ chairperson Morris Chivandire argued that the ultimatum was counterproductive as private schools are complementing the efforts of the government in providing basic education. Said Chivandire:
We take note that the laws of our country require us as infants schools to register and concede to the fact that the majority of our members are not registered despite being operational.
We, however, implore the government to relax some of the requirements such as the prescribed land size required to register an infant school.
We believe that we are complementing the efforts of the government in providing basic education which is a right for every child.
This is in light of government’s own admission that it is short of 2 000 schools.
Chivandire pointed out that infants school operators face several hurdles in registering their institutions. He added:
The bottlenecks faced by many of our members are at the local government level where the registration is supposed to start with the health and environmental inspections, change of use from residential to business for those operating from residential houses.