Zimbabwe to Close All Unregistered Private Schools, Says Education Minister

April 24, 2024
Tonderai Moyo | Report Focus News
Tonderai Moyo

Zimbabwe’s Minister of Primary and Secondary Education, Torerai Moyo, has announced that the government will soon shut down all unregistered private schools. The move comes as part of a broader effort to ensure quality and safety in the education sector.

During a post-Cabinet briefing on Tuesday, Moyo stated that all private schools must be registered with the Ministry of Primary and Secondary Education, otherwise, they will face closure. He explained that the proliferation of unregistered schools, particularly in high-density suburbs, has raised concerns about the quality of education and the risk of health issues due to overcrowded conditions.

“The Government plans to ensure that we establish as many schools as possible because we have a deficit in terms of the number of schools,” Moyo said, citing a shortage of close to 2,800 schools. “The shortage has seen the proliferation and mushrooming of schools which we want to define as private.”

Moyo emphasized that private schools operating without proper registration are illegal and subject to closure. He added that a Cabinet paper is in the works to address the issue, potentially allowing a grace period for these schools to comply with the regulations. However, the government’s ultimate aim is to shut down all unregistered schools.

“As a Ministry, we are supposed to ensure that there is quality, equitable, and inclusive education,” Moyo noted. “But in the so-called private schools that we have seen, somebody will have a school in his or her backyard, and learners are squeezed or jam-packed in a very small room. Chances of diseases spreading are high because the condition compromises quality. Those are the schools that we do not want.”

This initiative follows a 2022 crackdown on illegal schools and colleges, where authorities shut down 320 out of 448 institutions in Harare that were operating without proper registration. The government’s focus on regulating private schools underscores its commitment to ensuring a safe and conducive learning environment for all students in Zimbabwe.