Sinokuthaba Dube, Sunday News Reporter
THE Zimbabwe School Examinations Council (Zimsec) will soon announce the new and approved Ordinary and Advanced Level examination fees.
Zimsec was forced to backtrack after it initially announced hefty increases in examination fees for this year. The examination fees had been pegged at $190 per subject from $15 for Ordinary Level candidates and $351 per subject from $26 for Advanced Level candidates.
However, after an outcry, the Government nullified the increase and announced that in the meantime, parents and pupils could be paying last year’s fees. Primary and Secondary Education Deputy Minister Edgar Moyo said Zimsec working with the ministry will soon announce the new examination fees that will be fair to both parents and the examination body.
“Our main aim as the education sector is to make education accessible to everyone, the purpose of the dialogue with other stakeholders is to try and establish an agreeable figure on how much parents should pay without exerting pressure on them.
“Initially the actual examination fee was pegged at $190 per subject (O-level) but we later learnt that some parents could not afford to pay due to current economic challenges which is why the ministry reverted to the 2015 fees of $15 per subject while in the process of coming up with the exact examination fee that will also assist Zimsec board in preparation of the examinations,” he said.
Deputy Minister Moyo said cases of those that had paid the new examination fees especially for June examinations will be dealt with once the new fees are put in place.
“No one has exact information or time frame on the outcome but what can be hazarded for now is that pupils that had already paid $190 for June examinations will be refunded their monies. We have asked the Government and various financing models to intervene and see how much they are willing to assist as a means to compensate the Zimsec board,” he said.
However, Zimsec public relations officer Ms Nicky Dlamini could not comment on grounds of refunds and said parents must wait for the new examination fees.
“We have been receiving complaints and questions on what will happen to those that had already paid and registered for the June exams. What I can say to the public is that parents should wait for the final announcement from the Minister of Primary and Secondary Education.”