WHOSE interests are government serving? This is a question that was trending yesterday after the government unilaterally banned vacation lessons during the April school holiday on the grounds that the first term ran smoothly without disturbances and that pupils needed to rest.

“Having consulted widely on the matter and taking cognisant of the fact that the school term had no disturbances at all to the teaching and learning programme, therefore, authority is not granted that schools facilitate a vacation school during the April school holidays for the Grade 7,  Ordinary and Advanced level candidates, as well as for the non-examination classes,” Primary and Secondary Education ministry permanent secretary Moses Mhike wrote in a letter dated March 25.

For parents with children in examination classes, this action is a stab in the back as they want them to cover as much ground as possible to create more time for revision ahead of the examinations in November.

It is against this background that parents approached school authorities for vacation lessons.

School authorities are required to seek permission from the Primary and Secondary Education ministry.

There is no guarantee that the second term will be smooth after teachers at public schools recently termed the recent 6,6% salary increment insignificant and falling short of their expectations.

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That government has banned vacation lessons does not mean that they will not be conducted.

Holiday lessons will take place. Instead of lessons being held at school, they will be conducted in dingy places and garages, exposing pupils to harm.

The police will be on the lookout for those conducting lessons.

What will simply happen is that many will defy the directive resulting in some school administrators being arrested for defiance.

However, as has happened before, it will be a futile exercise.

A ban was in place last year and holiday lessons proceeded because parents wanted their children to pass examinations.

Monday's announcement shows that government is out of touch with reality and does not consult key stakeholders such as parents.

Consultation would have shown government that parents support vacation lessons.

Government should get off its high horse and establish what parents and learners want. It cannot continue to impose just like it did when it introduced the Continuous Assessment Learning Activities (Cala) and recently the heritage-based learning.

It took the government more than three years to realise that Cala was an extra burden on learners, teachers and parents.

We ask again: Whose interests are the government serving?