By Cletus Mushanawani
The Secretary for Primary and Secondary Education, Dr Sylvia Utete-Masango, has called on teachers not to rely on misleading information being peddled on social media as the ministry only uses official lines in all its communication.
Addressing school heads and members of School Development Committees from Mashonaland Central on the sidelines of the commissioning of an e-classroom or smart classroom at Mazowe High School last week, Dr Utete-Masango said her ministry never communicated through the social media.
“No communication from our ministry is done through WhatsApp,” she said. “We use proper official communication channels. So much is coming through the social media.
“Some of us were reportedly fired through the social media. So many reasons were given for my sacking. Some alleged that I am inefficient, some said I am a G40 member, while some said I am too old for the post. I only got to know of this information that was doing the rounds on the social media through my son who is in Ireland
“You can imagine how this misleading information circulates. Let us not take to heart all the information we get through the media.”
She added: “The social media at one time reported that there will be no national examinations this year, which are all lies. What will happen to learners in Form Three and Five if there are no examinations? Some even lied that schools will be opening on September 11 and we should be careful with this misinformation.”
Dr Utete-Masango called for the full implementation of the new curriculum especially technical vocational subjects.
“As headmasters, you know the weak areas in your schools and these can be addressed through in-house training,” she said. “Staff development should be a priority because we need to move with the times.
“Teaching of technical vocational subjects should start at the earliest stage. We have realised that some of the teachers teaching these lower grades do not have the necessary skills, but these can be upgraded through training.
“How can you expect a Form Four teacher to perform miracles with learners who were not equipped with the basic skills from the early stages?”
Dr Utete-Masango called for dialogue among all stakeholders in the education sector for the improvement of the country’s education.
“School Development Committee members should strive to leave a legacy at their schools during their tenure of office,” she said. “Headmasters should not be remembered for looting schools resources through unjustified subsistence allowances.
“We want to see well developed schools in the country with everyone working together. Remember we are all doing this for the benefit of the learners.”
Dr Utete-Masango reiterated Government’s policy that no children should be sent back home for failing to pay school fees.