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LOWER Six pupils will now begin their Advanced level studies in the second term of the year instead of the current set up where they start during the last month of the first term and still pay fees in full.
The changes are as a result of the introduction of the new primary and secondary school curriculum focusing on the programme that will demand pupils to be taught life skills soon after finishing their examinations.
After finishing their studies, O-level pupils will be taught life skills from November to April and begin their enrollment in the second term.
Primary and Secondary Education Deputy Minister Professor Paul Mavhima told Sunday News that the new curriculum scraps the current set up where pupils enroll for A-level after getting their results in mid-February, a development which parents were challenging.
Parents say the current set up was being abused by schools that were demanding pupils to pay for full fees regardless of the fact that they will only learn for a few weeks.
Because of the life skills programme, Lower Six classes will start in second term.
“With this programme we will not have problems with parents complaining that they are being made to pay large sums of money for their children to only learn for a few weeks.”I am sure next year after completing their studies, pupils will take part in the programme. As the ministry our aim is to ensure that the curriculum will be fully implemented by 2017,” said Prof Mavhima.
“The life skills programme is meant to impart life skills to pupils, as the name suggests, so that they will be productive in society.”
He said before the new curriculum comes into effect, schools should be “considerate” and charge fees that conform to the number of days pupils spend to school.
“At the moment, schools should be considerate and charge fees that are in tandem with the number of days pupils spend at school. If we look at boarding schools, it is unfair for schools to ask parents to pay such high fees. But we can understand if other boarding fees and some levies are to be cut but building levies remain the same because building levies are good for infrastructural development of schools,” said Prof Mavhima.
National Association of School Development Associations and Committees president Mr Xolisani Dlamini said the development was welcome as parents were against the current set up where schools are demanding that parents pay full fees for their children who will only learn for few weeks.
Said Mr Dlamini: “I am happy that the ministry is coming up with good programmes that are a relief to parents and also vital for the development of pupils and the country at large. In this era which we are in, we need pupils who will be producers not consumers. Life skills are very crucial in this regard because pupils will be equipped with proper and required skills.
“The change is also a relief to parents because schools were demanding that they pay full fees for their lower six pupils who will, however, learn for a few weeks. This situation is unfair and schools are now using the enrolment to raise funds which some of them are being squandered.”