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‘No vacation school this April holiday’ – The Herald

‘No vacation school this April holiday’

Trust FreddyHerald Correspondent 

THE Government has rejected requests from schools to allow both non-examination and examination classes to attend vacation school during the April holiday, saying pupils need a well-deserved break to rest and engage in independent learning.

It believes that a break from the academic routine will be beneficial to pupils’ physical and mental health, allowing them to recharge and be ready to resume classes on May 7, 2024.

In a statement yesterday, the Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Primary and Secondary Education, Mr Moses Mhike, said after extensive consultations, the Government had decided not to allow schools to hold vacation classes during the upcoming holiday.  

“The ministry notes with appreciation the requests that have been received from some of its sectors to allow for the uptake of the vacation school for examination classes of Grade 7, Ordinary and Advanced level during this April holiday.

“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-examinations classes.

“Pupils need this holiday break to rest and engage in independent learning where need be, including utilisation of the Zimbabwe Learning Passport amongst other alternative learning strategies,” Mr Mhike said.

He said the educational term had progressed smoothly and that vacation classes would not be necessary.

“The Ministry of Primary and Secondary Education acknowledges the conduct of teaching and learning in all schools which went seamlessly during the first term of the year, fully embracing the 56 days set aside for that process.

“The dedication, hard work, and unwavering commitment to educating and nurturing the young minds of our pupils have not gone unnoticed. The creativity and passion brought about by all our teachers in the classrooms that made learning engaging, interactive and inspiring for our pupils is commended and the ministry remains grateful.”

Mr Mhike urged all Provincial Education Directors to strictly enforce this directive, ensuring that no vacation classes are held during the upcoming holiday.

The Government banned holiday lessons saying they were being abused by teachers who were no longer teaching during the course of the term.

The Ministry of Primary and Secondary Education has been taking various steps to enforce the ban on privately-paid extra lessons after it emerged that some teachers were not doing their work during normal learning hours to corruptly earn more income from desperate parents.

Under Government policy, teachers in the public system are forbidden from charging for extra lessons, although they may provide extra tuition for an entire class without extra pay.

A few days ago, the Zimbabwe Republic Police warned teachers against abusing pupils as well as demanding cash from parents for extra lessons, saying it is illegal.

This was said by Deputy Commissioner-General Stephen Mutamba during the 16th edition of the Commissioner General of Police’s Schools Merit Awards in Harare.

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Mnangagwa commissions Kamativi Spodumene Mine

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Below are some images from Hwange, Kamativi Spodumene mine where President Emmerson Mnangagwa Friday commissioned the company’s 2.3 MT spodumene mining and processing project phase one.

Pictures by the Presidential Communications

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Mozambican national jailed 16 years for rape

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By Tinei Tuhwe

A 23-year old Mozambican will spend the next 16 years in a Zimbabwean prison following his conviction and sentencing for raping a minor.

According to the National Prosecuting Authority (NPA), the convict, whose name was not given, was convicted by a Chipinge magistrate after a full trial.

Prosecutors proved that the rape took place on March 12 this year.

The complainant, aged 13, was on her way from their homestead to a nearby business center in Chipinge.

“He grabbed her by the shoulders and dragged her to a nearby bush where he threatened her with a knife before raping her,” said the NPA in a statement.

The court heard the victim screamed for help and was heard by a passerby who rushed to the scene and rescued her while the suspect grabbed his clothes and took to his heels.

The matter was reported to the police leading to the arrest of the perpetrator.

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Nigeria recalls ‘toxic’ children’s cough syrup

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NIGERIA’S drug regulator has recalled a batch of Johnson & Johnson children’s cough syrup after tests showed it contained “an unacceptable high level” of a toxic and potentially fatal substance.

The substance, Diethylene glycol, “was found to cause acute oral toxicity in laboratory animals”, Nigeria’s National Agency for Food and Drugs Administration and Control (NAFDAC) said on Wednesday

It added that human consumption of the Diethylene glycol results in toxic effects, including abdominal pain, vomiting, diarrhoea, inability to pass urine, headache, altered mental state, and acute kidney injury which may lead to death.

The substance has been linked to the recent deaths of dozens of children in Cameroon and The Gambia.

Laboratory tests on the recalled Benylin Paediatric syrup also showed that it caused “acute oral toxicity in laboratory animals”, the regulator added.

Neither Johnson & Johnson nor Kenvue – which owns the Benylin brand after becoming independent from Johnson & Johnson last year- have commented on the NAFDAC’s statement.

The syrup was manufactured in South Africa in May 2021 and had an expiry date of April 2024.

The syrup’s packaging says it can be used for relieving cough and congestive symptoms and for treating fever and other allergic conditions among children aged between two and 12 years.

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