Sunday 5 May 2019


Thousands of pupils, especially boarders, could fail to return to school when the second term begins on Tuesday due to skyrocketing fees, parents have said.

A number of schools increased fees substantially following the rapid rise in the prices of goods and services since February when the government introduced a new currency.

The introduction of the RTGS dollar by the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe, which discarded its controversial policy maintaining that bond notes were at par with the United States dollar, has stoked inflation.

On average a boarding school, which was charging $700 fees per term is now demanding at least $1 400, a survey revealed. 

Some private schools are charging in US dollars with a top Harare school demanding fees of up to $10 800 in local currency or US$2 455, for full boarders.

Day scholars should pay RTGS$6 600 or US$1 500, while weekly boarders must part with RTGS$8 900 or US$2 023.

“We cannot really blame the schools, after all, everything is going up.

“However, the government has a responsibility to ensure that people are cushioned from this price madness,” said Christine Bhowa, who has three children in boarding school.

“In total I need to pay around RTGS$4 000 for all my children and then there is money for transport and their groceries.”

While school fees shot up, salaries for many workers have remained stagnant.

Besides school fees, parents have to contend with high prices of uniforms, with blazers for primary school children now costing $243.

Prices for a pair of school shoes range between RTGS$60 to RTGS$120 and a pair of socks costs RTGS$8.

Progressive Teachers’ Union of Zimbabwe secretary-general Raymond Majongwe said civil servants were hardest hit by price hikes.
“Teachers are wallowing in poverty. According to our calculations RTGS$4 000 is an ideal salary for a family of six, but teachers are earning RTGS$452 which is a mere US$90, “he said. 

“That is why the teachers are considering going for only a few days per week because it is not easy for them to report for duty every day on such a pittance.

“Zimbabwe is a unique country where everything is determined by government, which is not honouring the collective bargaining process.”
Civil servants were awarded a marginal pay increase last month, but they complain that it has already been eroded by inflation. Standard


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