September 14, 2020

Zim schools demand fees in United States dollars

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Munashe Mukahlera

Some schools in Zimbabwe want tuition fees in United States dollars, with the highest figures pegged at over US$350.

Cambridge examination classes opened on Monday while those under the Zimbabwe School Examinations Council are scheduled to begin on September 28.

A number of learning institutions have since proposed the hike to parents and Government, citing high running costs.

ZTN survey revealed that boarding schools want between US$300 and US$350 or the Zimbabwe dollar equivalent.

The official exchange rate of 1: 83 means parents will pay between ZWL$25 000 and ZWL$30 000, up from between ZWL$5 000 and ZWL$12 000.

Day schools have proposed fees averaging US$80 (ZWL $6 640), up from last term’s ZWL$700.

Ministry of Primary and Secondary Education spokesperson Taungana Ndoro said Government was yet to approve the proposals.

“There is a procedure that schools follow for approval of new fee structures by the ministry and these are done on a case-by-case basis. The procedure normally involves parents and the school before submission to the ministry. “Schools that apply for a new fees structure will be considered by the ministry and once the ministry arrives at its position, it will send a response to the respective schools.”

However, some schools have already sent circulars to parents communicating the reviewed fees.

ZTN has seen copies of the circulars.

Progressive Teachers’ Union of Zimbabwe Secretary-General Raymond Majongwe said, “Look, no one is earning United States dollars. Where will parents get the money in this economy? It’s not sustainable.”

Zimbabwe School Development Associations/Committees secretary-general Mr Everisto Jongwe said schools should consult parents before proposing fee hikes.

“Parents have to sit at a parents’ assembly to determine fees. School fee structures cannot be adjusted without engaging parents,” he said.

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