Secretary Dr. Uke Kombra says instructions were issued to all schools to resume normal classes on July 25 and August 1 for other schools due to election-related violence and disturbances.
Provincial Education Advisors were also advised to assess the situation in their provinces and decide on an appropriate decision.
However, news reports of schools still closed and low turnout by students and teachers in the last two weeks has caught the attention of the Department.
“In some cases, students are faithfully turning up for classes only to find that teachers are absent,” Dr Kombra said.
He said that apart from a number of wards or districts seriously affected by the election-related issues, there is no excuse for teachers not to be at work, and for most schools throughout the country, normal teaching and learning must be taking place.
“The rule of 30 days absenteeism will apply for students who are not turning up for classes without any good reason, while teachers who are taking advantage of the situation and are not turning up at school to teach or are still engaged in counting will be disciplined.
“Schools which are still closed for no good reason will not be paid their Government Tuition Fee payments or will be exempted from national examinations and assessment,” Dr Kombra said.
He said by now teachers are not supposed to be engaged in the counting process, and arrangements should have been made for other people to take over, so that they can return to the classrooms.
The Secretary has directed all school inspectors and provincial education officials to visit schools and provide reports on whether normal teaching and learning has taken place.