School heads cash-in on non-formal fees 

Source: School heads cash-in on non-formal fees | The Sunday Mail March 17, 2019

Norman Muchemwa

Some public school heads are understood to be getting windfalls of up to $2 500 each term from fees paid by non-formal students, a revelations that has seen Government wave the red flag on the anomaly.

It has been gathered that school heads are taking advantage of an education policy that allows enrolment of non-formal students and authorise them to retain a quarter of the total fees paid as personal allowances.

Concerns have been raised by teachers that the school heads are benefiting more than those teaching the students.

The Ministry of Primary and Secondary Education in 2015 introduced the National Non-Formal Education Policy (NFE), which seeks to promote universal access to education.

The policy gives a leeway for schools to enrol non-formal students who either hot-sit or use school facilities only when formal students are not using them

In an interview with The Sunday Mail, permanent secretary in the Ministry of Primary and Secondary Education Mrs Tumisang Thabela said the money paid to supervisors and headmasters should be minimal.

“As Government we have no capacity at the moment to pay teachers who are doing the extra duty of teaching non-formal classes,” she said.

Mrs Thabela said a teacher is supposed to be given at least 50 percent of the money paid by every pupil while a supervisor is supposed to be given an allowance probably something slightly above what the teacher is getting.

“There should be an allowance for administrative duties but it is a minimal amount.”

Mrs Thabela said while there was a policy on non-formal education, it was irregular for the school heads to line their pockets with the fees paid.

The non-formal education policy endorses Government’s commitment to increasing access to education for all Zimbabweans as enshrined in Section 75 of the Constitution of Zimbabwe.

The NFE is part of efforts to implement aspects of the Nziramasanga commission on education report which was commissioned 20 years ago.