Tuesday, 3 May 2016


BOARDING schools in Matabeleland region were yesterday turning away pupils for non-payment of fees ahead of today’s opening of the second school term. Primary and Secondary Education Minister Lazarus Dokora told the Zimbabwe Teachers Association annual conference that ended in Victoria Falls on Saturday that boarding schools can bar pupils from entering their premises if they have not paid fees for the term.

The Minister said the policy excluded day schools and only boarding schools were mandated to exclude pupils as they require the money for their day to day operations.
The Chronicle yesterday witnessed pupils with no proof of payment of fees being turned away from buses transporting them from the City Hall car park to their respective schools.
Some schools wanted pupils to have paid at least three quarters of the fees, with pupils being admitted on the condition that their parents would have signed affidavits stating that the remaining fees would be paid by month-end.
Some parents said the ongoing cash shortage and the late payment of salaries by some companies were making it difficult for them to settle fees in full. A parent with a child at Thekwane Mission School who asked to remain anonymous told The Chronicle that her son was turned away.
“I asked them if I could take my son’s place to the school so I could make arrangements with the head because I paid for the bus. Banks have no money and today the banks are closed. I’ve paid three quarters of the fees that shows I’m committed to paying fees,” she said.
Embakwe Boys High School was allegedly accommodating those who had paid at least three quarters of the fees and parents were being told to write an affidavit stating that they would settle the remaining funds by the end of this month.
A parent whose daughter learns at St James High School had cash in hand, but her child was turned away. “My daughter will not be able to go to school today. I don’t know what they want me to do because today is a holiday and banks are closed. They didn’t want to take my money. They just told me to phone the headmistress or go to the school,” she said.
Matabeleland North Provincial Education Director Boithatelo Mnguni said parents should make a clear decision when choosing schools for their children. She said parents have an option to take their children to day schools as boarding schools are expensive.
“There’s no way a headmistress can make a budget on three quarters of the school fees. Parents should pay all the fees for the smooth running of the schools,” said Mnguni.
“Parents shouldn’t deprive their children of education. Why would you take your child to a boarding school when you can’t afford? Day schools are a cheaper option and parents should make clear decisions when placing their children in schools.” chronicle


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