Zimbabwe News

Schools defy government fees policy

Several schools across the country are defying a government directive not to turn away learners over non-payment of fees, a survey by NewsDay has established.

The government recently issued a circular warning schools not to turn away learners over unpaid school fees.

The Ministry of Primary and Secondary Education says school heads should engage parents and negotiate flexible payment plans to ensure uninterrupted learning.

ZINUSH secretary-general, Munyaradzi Majoni, told NewsDay that while their members were aware of the policy not to exclude pupils on grounds of non-payment of fees, parents and guardians should be responsible. He said:

As the Zimbabwe National Union of School Heads (ZINUSH), our members are well aware of the policy not to exclude pupils on grounds of non-payment of levies.

However, all stakeholders have a responsibility to remind parents and guardians about their obligation to pay fees and levies so that schools remain functional.

However, Amalgamated Rural Teachers Union of Zimbabwe (ARTUZ) president Obert Masaraure said it was the responsibility of the government to ensure that children attend school.

Citing Sections 27 and 75 of the Constitution which state that every citizen has a right to a basic State-funded education, Masaraure said:

The State should declare a moratorium on school fees because of the national drought. Families are seized with procuring food; there is no money to pay for school fees.

Progressive Teachers Union (PTUZ) president Takavafira Zhou said schools should make payment plans with parents and guardians so that children do not lose their learning time.

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