Government warns school heads over uniforms
The Ministry of Primary and Secondary Education has warned school heads they will be charged with an act of misconduct if they force parents and guardians to buy school uniforms from the schools’ preferred suppliers.
Some schools are reportedly exclusively supplying uniforms to their learners or forcing parents to buy them from their preferred suppliers who are presumably their associates.
The Ministry’s spokesperson Taungana Ndoro said uniforms can be bought anywhere other than the school. Said Ndoro:
If a head of a school defies the government and the permanent secretary’s directive, they would be charged with an act of misconduct.
Pursuant to the public pronouncement by the permanent secretary on 9 January 2018, I want to reiterate once more that parents/guardians are free to purchase uniforms wherever they find it cheaper in line with the specifications and colour codes of the school.
Therefore, the ministry’s position with regard to the purchase of uniforms remains unchanged.
On Tuesday, the Zimbabwe Lawyers for Human Rights (ZLHR) wrote to the Goromonzi High School headmaster demanding that he admits two pupils who had not bought their uniforms from the school.
The headmaster had barred the two Form One siblings from attending lessons for buying uniforms from shops, even though they had fully paid their school fees.
ZLHR says the school is selling its uniforms at exorbitant prices.
According to ZLHR, the uniforms at the school are being sold at US$643 compared to US$325 being sold at various stores.
The human rights lawyers demanded that the school’s headmaster unconditionally allow the minor children to attend lessons and permit them to purchase uniforms from a retailer of their choice.
In the event that the Headmaster fails to comply with the demands, ZLHR said they will immediately petition the High Court on an urgent basis seeking an order to compel the school authorities to allow the minor children to pursue their education at Goromonzi High, with the headmaster bearing the cost of the litigation.
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