Minister reads riot act to schools

Professor Paul Mavima

The GOVERNMENT has announced that requests by schools for payment in a specific currency is unacceptable and schools that wish to increase fees levies need to request for approval from the ministry.

Addressing journalists during the ministry’s strategic planning workshop in Bulawayo, the Minister of Primary and Secondary Education Professor Paul Mavima said the Government had an obligation to guarantee access to education for all children.

“The Government of the Republic of Zimbabwe through the Ministry of Primary and Secondary Education, all education institutions and the citizens of Zimbabwe have an obligation to guarantee access to education for all children. The intention is to ensure that education prepares all children well for their future and for them to make their contribution to the development of the nation. Therefore, everything possible must be done in order to ensure that education is affordable,” he said.

He added that the economic crisis the nation was currently facing had led to some schools increasing fees but insisted that schools that wish to increase fees have to submit applications to the ministry.

“Statutory Instrument 159A of 2007 gives the official requirement for the approval of fees. It is recognised that the fees and levies charged reflect the economic environment and in the case of some schools, significant revenue is required following the withdrawal of the Government teachers’ grant to schools that previously received them. In that light schools that wish to increase fees and levies need to submit their applications to the Secretary for Primary and Secondary Education and approval has to be received by the schools before any increase are effected. In order for the secretary to appreciate the basis upon which the fees and levies are calculated, schools need to submit together with their applications the current audited accounts, minutes of a properly constituted meeting of no less than 20% of the school parents assembly and a proposed budget.”

Professor Mavima warned schools that demand school fees to be paid in a specific currency that it was illegal to do so. He said that parents or guardians should be allowed to purchase school uniforms from the best quotation they can get so as to ensure good governance and transparent and corrupt free processes in the management of schools

“All modes of payment currently obtained in Zimbabwe shall be accepted for fees and levies settlement. For the avoidance of doubt, requests by schools for payment in a specific currency are not acceptable. Pursuant to the need to promote access to education for all, parents and guardians and learners shall be allowed to purchase school uniforms to the best of their advantage. Schools submit the requirements to the parents and guardians who will procure the uniforms from the best quotation they can get,” he said.