Tuesday, 25 February 2020

EXAM FEES : SCHOOLS DEFY GOVT


SOME schools have defied the Government’s directive to revert to the 2015 Zimbabwe School Examination Council (Zimsec) Ordinary Level fees pegged at $15 per subject insisting that parents should pay $190 per subject.

The Government last week reversed an increase of examination fees, saying it wanted to carry out further consultations with stakeholders before releasing a new fees structure.

Zimsec had increased the exam fees to $190 per subject from $15 for Ordinary Level candidates and $351 per subject from $26 for Advanced Level candidates.

Following Government’s intervention, parents and guardians were advised to continue paying $15 and $26 per subject for O-and A-Level candidates respectively.

In separate interviews yesterday, parents said some schools were still demanding $190 per subject. The parents expressed fear that their children might not be able to sit for the June examinations as they do not have the money schools are demanding.

They said school heads argued that they had not yet received a circular from Zimsec instructing them to revert to the old fees. 

“As parents we heard from news on television and also read from newspapers that Government had annulled the new examination fees. We are now confused when schools insist on payment of the new fees. I am now afraid that my child might not be able to register for June O-Level examination because I do not have the money the school is demanding,” said Mr Tichawona Hamadziripi.

One of the parents who preferred anonymity said he managed to seek clarity from the Ministry of Primary and Secondary Education which managed to address the issue and was able to register for $15 per subject.

In an interview yesterday, Primary and Secondary Education Deputy Minister, Edgar Moyo said schools cannot defy a Government directive.

He said school authorities must allow parents to register for exams based on the old fees as announced by Government.

Matabeleland South Provincial Education Director (PED), Mr Lifias Masukume, said schools in his region had since reverted to the examination fees approved in 2015 following a school heads meeting that was held in Bulawayo on Monday to clear the confusion.

He said Zimsec also sent a circular to schools yesterday instructing them to allow O-Level candidates to pay $15 per subject.  
“On Monday we held a secondary school heads meeting in Bulawayo where we made it clear to the heads that they should revert to the old fees.

“During the meeting some of the school head raised concerns that they had not yet received formal communication from Zimsec so we also instructed Zimsec to send the circular,” he said.

Matabeleland North PED Mr Jabulani Mpofu said after receiving a press statement from the Ministry of Primary and Secondary Education yesterday, the school heads were immediately advised to charge $15 per subject hence there were no cases of schools demanding the new fees. Chronicle

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