Government has assured parents that all school activities will continue as usual after the Association of Trust Schools apologised on behalf of private schools that turned pupils away yesterday and on Wednesday. Addressing the media on the disruption at schools, Primary and Secondary Minister Dr Lazarus Dokora said Government and the Association of Trust Schools had found each other after holding a closed door meeting yesterday.
He said the schools in question had acted on unfounded information circulating on social media and said any deviation from the school calendar other than what the ministry has prescribed would not be tolerated. “It has come to our attention that in some schools, particularly those that fall under Association of Trust Schools (ATS), learners were turned away on the basis that there would be no teaching and learning on Wednesday,” he said.
To this effect, the ministry held a meeting with ATS leaders where it was categorically stated that any deviation to the learning calendar other than what ministry has prescribed is not tolerated. All ATS members who turned away learners took the opportunity to apologise.” Minister Dokora’s statement comes after opposition groups were on Wednesday and yesterday left to eat humble pie when the job stayaway they had called for went unheeded.
The meeting was attended by representatives of ATS and schools including Hellenic Academy, Gateway and Bishopslea Preparatory School. Minister Dokora said together with the ATS, they had agreed that professional channels of communication should be respected.“It was resolved that all responsible authorities were to liaise with the Ministry on issues to do with teaching and learning. Channels for communicating professional matters were to be followed. Members were to desist from instilling fear among learners in an effort to scare them away from attending classes,” he said.
Questioned on Government action if the directive was not heeded, Minister Dokora, who was accompanied by his permanent secretary, Dr Sylvia Utete-Masango, said: “We do not have to speculate, we will cross the bridge when we get there.”
There were also reports that the Headmaster for Bishopslea school Mr Crook and the Head for Chisi Junior were arrested for closing their schools on Wednesday and Thursday.