Govt warns schools against fee increments
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