Primary and Secondary Education minister Lazarus Dokora will go down in history as a government official who introduced controversial policies that elicited the loudest outcry from stakeholders ever since Zimbabwe got independence in 1980.
By Sigauke,Our Reader
Some of the policies have dispirited teachers, with the consequences hitting hard on the innocent learner.
Obviously, Dokora unwittingly arms his nemesis, who always accuses him of not giving a hoot about the repercussions of his policies for he has no child at any Zimbabwean school. He began by banning incentives that school authorities were giving to their teachers.
These incentives, introduced during the inclusive government had done well in motivating our teachers. It will be sad indeed when our teachers entertain nostalgia for the David Coltart era in the ministry.
As if that was not enough, Dokora also banned extra lessons raising speculation that his policies are anti-teachers.
Recently, the minister directed all schools to conduct enrolment of Form One students on the same day on November 4, 2015.
The intention of the policy is noble, but the way it is being implemented is too emotional. We know parents were being robbed of their hard-earned money by schools through entrance tests.
The schools were in the habit of inviting thousands of prospective students when they only wanted a few pupils for each year. The candidates would pay non-refundable entrance fees ranging from $20 to $100.
That money was never used for meaningful development.
Indeed that was very bad and the minister had to intervene.
However, he did so emotionally. Dokora should have set at least a week, not a day, for enrolment. This would allow parents to rush to the next school in cases where they are unsuccessful at their first choices.
As it is now, the system does not allow this as that next school would have also enrolled on the same day. Some might argue that parents must go where they are certain of securing a place.
Many schools have their traditional cut-off points. The schools that are much sought after usually take children with 4 to 6 units.
The problem arises when the school is oversubscribed by children with 4 points. That will mean those with 5 and 6 points will not have a chance.
This is a scenario likely to be witnessed this year since there is a general increase of children with 4 units with one school reportedly having 89 pupils.
So one wonders who Dokora is really serving with his radical policies. We are left to think he is crying more than the bereaved.