Parents ask for more time to pay fees

Zimbabwean teachers have suspended a national strike seeking better pay, unions said, but warned they could walk out from their jobs again. Picture: Reuters/Philimon Bulawayo

It was again a last minute back to school shopping rush at the weekend and yesterday as parents and guardians prepared for the children’s return to school for the Second Term.

Acting Bulawayo Provincial Education director Mrs Olicah Kaira has commended parents in Bulawayo for ensuring that their children remain in school despite the prevailing economic challenges.

The past week has been hectic with parents making a last minute rush to prepare for the opening of schools for the second term today.

Retail outlets in Bulawayo’s Central Business District have been a hive of activity as parents shopped for uniforms and other requirements such as books. 

“We understand that things are hard and prices are rising everyday and this includes school pupils’ requirements such as uniforms, stationery, school fees and levies. We want to therefore commend parents for sacrificing so that their children remain in school despite the economic difficulties,” said Mrs Kaira.

She said parents should strive to pay their fees on time

“We urge parents to continue paying fees on time and ensuring that pupils have the required learning materials. Pupils must report to school on the first day and this culture of pupils not attending school on the first day should stop. 

Mrs Kaira reminded learners, especially those that will be sitting for public examinations that the second term is very crucial for exams preparations.

“Use your time wisely and build your future, respect parents and teachers as you prepare for your exams,” she said.

Mrs Kaira urged teachers to be committed to their work and ensure that those sitting for exams adequately prepare. 

“I urge teachers to ensure that the learning time is fully utilised for the benefit of their pupils.We are coming from holiday and I hope we are fresh and raring to go as teachers and pupils,” she said. 

Mrs Kaira urged high school pupils to stop the culture of partying and ‘boozing’ on the last weekend of the school holiday.

“We are seized with the matter as a ministry. Can we be known for better things as Bulawayo? This is a very bad culture that must be stopped forthwith ” she said.

Mrs Kaira called on the parents to play their part in ensuring their children refrain from anti-social behaviour which puts their lives at risk such as alcohol and drugs abuse.

“We call upon parents to help us to ensure that we inculcate in our children good moral values. Schools can only complement parenting efforts that begin at home. I therefore call for a partnership between parents and the school. The last weekend of the school holiday should be used to ensure that all is in order before schools open. Check your uniforms, cover your books and stay away from all sources of bad influence. The future will reward you.” 

Meanwhile, parents have appealed to schools authorities to give them time to pay school fees and levies.

They said some school authorities have in the past sent pupils home for non-payment of fees despite the fact that this is against Government policy.

The parents said school authorities should appreciate the prevailing economic challenges hence the need to give them time to pay whatever is outstanding as opposed to sending the pupils home.

They said school fees, uniforms and stationery have been increased and many parents after buying the uniforms and other schools requirements were left with nothing and as such they want to be given time to raise money for fees and levies.