Unregistered preschools plead for grace period

BY GARY MTOMBENI
The Early Childhood Association of Zimbabwe (ESAZ) has raised concerns over the government’s continued bombardment targeting illegally operating private pre-schools in Harare.

Harare Metropolitan Provincial Affairs and Decentralization Secretary Tafadzwa Muguti has given the institutions a 48-hour ultimatum to close on their own or face prosecution.

ECAZ President Morris Chivandire said the ultimatum was retrograde as private schools complemented government efforts.

“We take note that the laws of our country require us as preschools to register and concede that the majority of our members are not registered despite being operational. However, we implore the government to relax some of the requirements such as the size of land prescribed to register a nursery school,” he said.

“We believe we are complementing the government’s efforts to provide basic education which is a right for every child. It is in light of the government’s own admission that it is short of 2,000 schools.

Chivandire said preschool operators face several challenges when registering their facilities.

“The bottlenecks facing many of our members are at the local government level where registration is supposed to start with health and environmental inspections, change of use from residential to commercial for those operating from of residential homes,” he said.

Chivandire argued for a three-month grace period to regularize their operations.

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