via Zim schools reopen amid ongoing fees concerns | SW Radio Africa by Alex Bell on Tuesday, May 13, 2014
Zimbabwe schools reopened for the second term this week, amid ongoing concern about the cost of school fees and the fate of children whose fees are unpaid.
Primary and Secondary Education Minister Lazarus Dokora last week announced that school fees for this year at government and independent institutions would remain frozen, while voluntary levies or other unauthorised charges would not be allowed.
While schools have abided by this price freeze, the term costs still run into the hundreds of dollars for many parents.
The Zimbabwe Lawyers for Human Rights (ZHLR) has since called on headmasters and school authorities to allow all children to continue with their studies, even if their fees are outstanding, saying it is unconstitutional for the students to be turned away.
The ZLHR said in a press statement: “The exclusion of children for non-payment of school fees is unconstitutional.”
The group explained that schools throughout the country are still turning away children despite this section of the carter, and this was leading to an increase in student drop-out rates.
“Notwithstanding the new constitutional dispensation, throughout the country, there continues to be alarming tales of children being turned away from school due to failure to pay school fees. This has consequently led to an increase in numbers of children dropping out of school altogether,” the ZLHR said.
The fees issue meanwhile has also added to the reported low morale among the country’s teachers. Takavafira Zhou, President of the Progressive Teachers’ Union of Zimbabwe, was quoted by the NewsDay newspaper as saying that teacher’s were denied a chance to make extra income during the holiday break, after the government banned holiday lessons and scrapped teacher incentives.
“Schools are opening for the second term amid political paralysis, the worsening liquidity crisis, erosion of teachers’ salaries, unilateral decision-making by Education ministry officials on a number of issues that need logical disputation and engagement with teacher unions, and the threat of labour law reform that moves the clock backwards to the colonial Master and Servant Act,” Zhou said.
where are the Childrens Organisations standing by those children whose fees cannot be paid?? Where are the rights of the child?
It is one of the basic rights – These are the very same children who cannot access proper HEALTH CARE BECAUSE OF THE THIEVING SCROUNGING BUFOON
It is only there when this THIEVING SCROUNGING BUFOON BOB SENDS HIS CHILDREN TO GOOD SCHOOLS AND THE DAUGHTER WAS SENT ABROAD TO FINISH HER EDUCATION. It must be happening to all those in positions their children ar being sent abroad to schools while the ordinary children are SUFFERING
ordinary children are failing to go to school while the BUFOONS CHILDREN BESIDES GOING TO THE BEST SCHOOLS ARE GOING TO BED ON A FULL BELLY
Education is a basic human right, yes however if parents are unable to pay the school fees they must be means tested by the schools otherwise there will be an epidemic of non paying children and schools will have to close. Government in their ineptitude are already unable to pay teachers a living wage and if fees are not paid they will close. In a just world school fees in government schools should be free. In Zimbabwe the government bigwigs stole all the money to send their children to private schools overseas. No money left.
The next term you will find NO ONE will pay any fees, govt will not be able to fill their obligation so guess where our education system ends up?… another lost generation in the making…My god can those in zanu not see what is happening and you ask for tolerance????
YES THEY KNOW WHAT IS HAPPENING because THEY ARE THE VERY PEOPLE PLUNDERED
A very unfortunate catch 22 situation. My question to the Minister & ZLHR is as follows. If schools do not receive the required revenue they will get to a point where they will not be able to operate, pay salaries etc and eventually close up shop. Who benefits then? A microcosm of what is happening to the economy.
Point of fact is that close to 75% of school fees go to staff salaries. Not mercs or overseas trips. It goes to the hardworking teachers and sundries staff who form the most valuable resource a child’s future has.The minister is being short sighted just for short term populist support. Has he learnt nothing from Chikwedere who took the education system back 20 years and which has only resently starting to recover. Hat off to Coultard.