Source: Special school levy looms | The Financial Gazette June 30, 2016
VICTORIA FALLS — Parents with children in primary and secondary schools should brace for a school fees increase after government gave schools the green light to apply for permission to charge special levies.
Primary and Secondary Education Minister, Lazarus Dokora, said this while addressing headmasters at a National Association of Secondary School Heads (Nash) conference in Victoria Falls last week.
The development comes at a time when schools countrywide have indicated that they are already being owed huge sums of money by parents in unpaid fees and levies for their children.
Dokora, who urged schools to take to the small claims court parents owing them money, said schools could apply for a special levy to meet rising recurrent expenditure.
“You can apply for a special levy, but you should first prove that the existing levies are performing well. Some schools are owed levies by parents and we can’t continue taxing the same few that pay up, while the majority are not paying,” said Dokora.
Meanwhile, Dokora said his Ministry had secured a US$2 million grant from Global Partnership to be used for construction of science laboratories in government schools countrywide and also urged schools to start applying for the grant.
He said to access the grant, schools would however, have to mobilise their own resources, through, for instance, the proposed special levy, and start building science laboratories to be eligible.
Science laboratories are part of government’s new demand on schools to drive the Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) programme. The STEM programme seeks to increase science learning in high school.
“We are putting a grant of US$2 million for education from Global Partnership to be used to assist in building science laboratories for primary and secondary schools,” said Dokora.
The Global Partnership for education, which prioritises the poorest, supports 61 developing countries to ensure that every child receives a quality basic education.
“The grant will benefit those who would have started building the laboratory. When a school wants to build a laboratory it will access money from that fund, but should first show that it would have started something on the ground because we need science laboratories as we embrace the new curriculum,” Dokora added.