School heads in fees panic

Chronicle (Zimbabwe) - - National News - Than­deka Moyo

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

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