The Minister of Primary and Secondary Education, Mr. Torerai Moyo, announced that despite the two-day delay in opening schools due to the recent elections, the closing dates for the third term will remain unchanged.

He said the government plans to implement measures to compensate for the lost learning time. Many schools delayed their opening to accommodate President Emmerson Mnangagwa’s inauguration on 4 September 2023 following his re-election in the 23-24 August harmonised elections.

Moyo said the government is also taking action against schools that are refusing learners due to unpaid fees or unauthorised fee increases. He mentioned that they are considering extending learning hours to help students catch up before their final exams. Moyo said:

"The Ministry of Primary and Secondary Education wishes to inform the public and its valued stakeholders that December 1, 2023 has been maintained as the closing date of the school calendar.

Arrangements have been made for schools to utilise the most appropriate and effective catch-up strategies to compensate for the two-day postponement of the opening of schools for day scholars from September 4 to September 6. We have put in place measures to make sure that children are not disadvantaged by this postponement.

We called upon school authorities to utilise all the time available at their disposal to ensure that learners are not disadvantaged.

Heads of schools and school authorities should desist from sending away pupils for non-payment of fees and levies, nor should they demand school fees and levies exclusively in foreign currency.

We wish to inform school authorities that it is an offence to turn away pupils for non-payment of tuition fees and levies.

We have put in place a cocktail of measures to deal with defiant schools, with the measures set to start applying next week (this week)."

Moyo said the ministry is awaiting Cabinet approval to take action against schools that are expelling students due to non-payment of tuition fees and levies.

Last week, education authorities initiated an investigation into schools that were demanding fees and levies in foreign currency only. The ministry’s Acting Permanent Secretary, Ms. Kwadzanayi Nyanungo, emphasized the strict enforcement of circular number 1 of 2023, which outlines guidelines for determining and processing fee and levy increases. The Minister also mentioned that preparations for the 2023 Grade Seven public examinations are well underway, with the exams scheduled to begin next Monday.