Govt warns schools against fee in­cre­ments

Chronicle (Zimbabwe) - - Front Page - Oliver Kazunga

THE Gov­ern­ment has warned schools not to in­crease fees as the third term be­gins to­mor­row, say­ing those that do so with­out ap­proval would be dealt with se­verely.

In an in­ter­view yes­ter­day, the Deputy Min­is­ter of Pri­mary and Sec­ondary Ed­u­ca­tion, Pro­fes­sor Paul Mavhima, said schools can only in­crease fees if they have been given the green­light to do so by the Gov­ern­ment.

“As schools open, no school is sup­posed to in­crease fees with­out get­ting ap­proval from the Per­ma­nent Sec­re­tary in the Min­istry of Pri­mary and Sec­ondary Ed­u­ca­tion. Why would one want to in­crease fees when fully aware that the econ­omy is tough for par­ents. Also they can’t just in­crease the fees with­out ap­proval, that isn’t pro­ce­dural,” he said.

Be­fore in­creas­ing school fees, Prof Mavhima said, a school has to first ex­plain to the Gov­ern­ment why it in­tends to hike the fees.

“Ba­si­cally, if they do it un­pro­ce­du­rally, they will be dealt with ac­cord­ingly. In cases where schools in­crease the fees with­out fol­low­ing proper pro­ce­dures, par­ents should ap­proach the Pri­mary and Sec­ondary Ed­u­ca­tion au­thor­i­ties at dis­trict level and just in­di­cate that this is what is hap­pen­ing,” he said.

The Gov­ern­ment has also said schools must not send pupils away for non-pay­ment of fees, but should deal with par­ents.

Pri­mary and Sec­ondary Ed­u­ca­tion Min­is­ter Dr Lazarus Dokora has pre­vi­ously said it is also il­le­gal for schools to take par­ents who de­fault pay­ing school fees to debt col­lec­tors.

He said if schools de­cide to take the le­gal route to re­cover out­stand­ing fees, they should ap­proach the Small Claims Court, and not debt col­lec­tors.

Re­cently, 14 head­mas­ters from schools in Bu­l­awayo’s Lu­veve, Gwa­ba­landa and Cow­dray Park sub­urbs met to dis­cuss the non-pay­ment of fees at their schools.

Dur­ing the meet­ing, it emerged that most schools were in a cri­sis as their cof­fers had run dry due to non-pay­ment of fees, re­sult­ing in the in­sti­tu­tions strug­gling to meet their obli­ga­tions. — @okazunga

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