President Emmerson Mnangagwa’s administration has stopped paying school fees for students who were learning at former first lady Grace Mugabe’s private High School in Mazowe under the government’s Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) programme.
The government advised the students to pay for themselves or to find cheaper schools as it could not continue paying fees of $3 800 per term per child which translates to $205 200 per year for the 18 students in the programme.
The STEM Programme was initiated by former Higher and Tertiary Education Minister, Professor Jonathan Moyo although it was later scrapped by his successor Professor Amon Murwira due to alleged abuse.
A government official who spoke to the Zimbabwe Independent said,
When the policy was initiated it was meant to assist government, mission and community schools or schools in farming areas. The target was to help students from underprivileged backgrounds that are good in science subjects.
However, questions were asked as to why Grace Mugabe’s private schools enrolling students for stem as it is a private school and it did not fall under the required schools. It was a controversial issue but then it was a directive
Speaking on the matter Professor Murwira said,
All schools that were irregularly benefitting from STEM including private schools, I stopped paying for them without fear or favour.
The policy is we do not pay for students enrolled at private schools, instead, we pay for those enrolled at government, mission or council schools. The policy is that the fees should not exceed $1200.
More: The Zimbabwe Independent