Adopt flexible payment methods, school told

Primary and Secondary Education Minister Professor Paul Mavima and Kuwadzana legislator Betty Kaseke (right) being taken on a tour of Kuwadzana High 3 by the head Mrs Longina Munatsi (centre) in Harare on Thursday. — Picture by Munyaradzi Chamalimba

Primary and Secondary Education Minister Professor Paul Mavima and Kuwadzana legislator Betty Kaseke (right) being taken on a tour of Kuwadzana High 3 by the head Mrs Longina Munatsi (centre) in Harare on Thursday. — Picture by Munyaradzi Chamalimba

Abigail Mawonde Herald Correspondent
Parents and guardians of schoolchildren at Kuwadzana 3 High School have called for Government intervention, as the head is allegedly demanding part of the school fees in cash.

Kuwadzana 3 High is a Government school.

The Ministry of Primary and Secondary Education has advised schools to embrace the use of other forms of payment in view of the cash shortages.

Primary and Secondary Education Minister Professor Paul Mavima, who visited the school on Thursday to inspect progress on the construction of classroom blocks, said school authorities should be flexible in payment methods.

“Let us open up many avenues for payments so that parents will not have to struggle in making payments,” he said.

“If one can think of a parent being asked to pay $70 in cash as alleged, it means that they have to go and queue at the bank for two to three days, so that they could get the money and that will be putting a lot of strain on the parents.”

Concerned parents who spoke to The Herald said the school, expected parents to fork out $70 in cash, while the remainder could be paid through electronic platforms.

“The initial school fees for pupils enrolling at the school is $200,” said one of the parents.

“It covers tuition, which is $130, while the $70 cash payment goes towards purchasing of branded uniforms.

“The $70 covers a tracksuit, T-shirt, short, report booklet and identity card.

“However, as parents we would expect her to understand that there is no cash out there. She should appreciate that at least we are willing to pay in the form of plastic money.”

Another parent, who also spoke on condition of anonymity for fear of victimisation said: “We are worried with the conditions of payment of fees that the school head is giving us. We have the money in the banks, but we are unable to access it.

“Where does she expect us to get it from? She is sabotaging us as parents and in a way, affecting our children’s school attendance.”

When contacted for comment, Mrs Munatsi said she was not forcing parents to pay fees in cash.

“We do not sell uniforms at the school, that is why the money is not being deposited into the school account,” she said.

“What is happening is that we got a contractor who designed our school uniforms and we referred parents to them.

“They would deal with the contractor directly until some parents suggested the school collects the money on behalf of the contractor, who would in turn supply the uniforms to the school for their convenience.”

Added Mrs Munatsi: “The reason why we were insisting on $70 cash payment is that our supplier was also telling us that they were facing challenges in purchasing the materials from foreign businesspeople who were demanding cash.”

Mrs Munatsi said the school started accepting plastic money.

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  • Goto

    Let’s learn to live with what is available. What does the law say about demanding payment in a certain form? Firstly the minister is sleeping on the job. The minister should simply not only advise schools to embrace the use of plastic money but should DERECT all government schools to embrace it. Secondly, it is obvious the contractor is not banking the money thereby breaching the Reserve Bank act that money collected should be banked within 24hrs. Thirdly, the money is finding it’s way to the black market to buy foregn currency. Fourthly, we are crying about unnecessary imports which are draining forex and not creating jobs. Fifthly, are they paying duty for the imported fabric or its smuggled. No 6, was there a tender for the supply of these uniforms. I could go on and on. These are the simple and basic things that are making our country not move forward. Ministers should attend to and adress these simingly irrelevant issues. Obviously the parents were not satisfied by the minister just advising his school to embrace plastic money when a crime is being committed under his nose.

  • jaku

    Schools in the rural areas are charging between $25 and $30 a term as opposed to the $200 dollars in urban areas. Simple reasoning dictates that one cannot enter into a payment plan with rural parents who do not have regular income.Levies are not being paid in rural areas and if no intervention is done education in rural areas is going to collapse.Govt must fund these schools by creating a special levy like the health levy.Alternatively education can share the 5c per every dollar from airtime with health.2c of every dollar from airtime can be used to fund schools in the rural areas.