School heads in fees panic
FOURTEEN headmasters from schools in Luveve, Gwabalanda and Cowdray Park suburbs in Bulawayo recently met to discuss the non-payment of fees at their schools.
The headmasters invited Luveve-Gwabalanda Member of Parliament, Cde Ntando Mlilo, whose constituency also covers Cowdray Park suburb, to the meeting.
The MP yesterday revealed that most school coffers have run dry due to failure by parents to pay fees, throwing schools into a crisis.
Cde Mlilo said he was invited to the meeting that was held at Mafakela primary school in Luveve suburb last week on Tuesday by headmasters to discuss the nonpayment of fees.
Headmasters resolved to hold meetings at affected schools with parents and School Development Committees over the problem.
“I was invited to a meeting by heads from all schools and they said they have no money in their coffers due to non-payment of fees by my most parents. It’s a pity that they (parents) want to abuse the Government policy at the same time crippling development in their own schools,” said Cde Mlilo.
“Some of these parents spend a lot of money on other things like clothes and gadgets yet they fail to raise $40 for fees. We understand that we’re living in tough times as some have no jobs but we’re asking them to support the Government at least by making payment plans instead of totally abandoning payment of fees.”
Cde Mlilo said money was needed to cover administrative costs, pay workers and for school development.
“We encourage our parents to partner with the Government because their attitude towards payment of fees determines the quality of pupils we produce. We too can improve our standards like our peers from the eastern suburbs by paying fees and engaging schools when we have genuine challenges,” he said.
Cde Mlilo also rubbished reports that he was organising a pupils’ demonstration against their parents as reported by some online media outlets.
“I’m aware that there is a malicious message circulating via social networks that I’m planning a massive demonstration. I’m a public official who was only invited to the meeting, I don’t have such powers to organise a demonstration,” he said. —@ thamamoe.
A group of school children heads home after being sent away for non-payment of fees in this file photo