Schools defy govt fees policy

Source: Schools defy govt fees policy –Newsday Zimbabwe

A NUMBER of public schools are defying a government directive not to turn away learners over unpaid fees, a survey by NewsDay has established.

Government recently issued a circular warning school authorities not to turn away learners over outstanding school fees.



The Primary and Secondary Education ministry ordered school heads to engage parents and negotiate flexible payment plans to ensure uninterrupted learning.

Unions representing educators called for dialogue between the schools and parents to ensure that children are not disadvantaged.

“As the Zimbabwe National Union of School Heads (Zinush), our members are well aware of the policy not to exclude pupils on grounds of non-payment of levies,” Zinush secretary-general, Munyaradzi Majoni, said.

“However, all stakeholders have a responsibility to remind parents and guardians about their obligation to pay fees and levies so that schools remain functional.”



Amalgamated Rural Teachers Union of Zimbabwe leader Obert Masaraure said it was the sole responsibility of the State to ensure that children attend school.

“The State should declare a moratorium on school fees because of the national drought. Families are seized with procuring food; there is no money to cater for school fees,” he said, citing Sections 27 and 75 of the Constitution which state that every citizen has a right to a basic State-funded education.

Progressive Teachers Union president Takavafira Zhou said learners were victims of a poorly performing economy.



“There is certainly a need for a balance sheet,” Zhou said.

“Schools must preferably give students written notice for the parents to come to school and make payment plans so that students do not lose their learning time.”

Education ministry spokesperson Toungana Ndoro was not reachable for comment.