Sharon Chigeza Mutare Correspondent
Schools here have heeded Government’s directive to allow learners that are not paid up to attend classes. The Ministry of Primary and Secondary Education on Monday warned school authorities against turning away pupils, but to negotiate payment plans with indebted parents or guardians.
The Herald went around schools in the Eastern border town to monitor the situation and discovered that most schools were indeed conducting lessons. Most school heads, citing protocol, could not be drawn into commenting about the situation, referring questions to the parent ministry.
There was a near riotous situation at Dangare Primary School when the school headmistress Mrs Wendy Rukunda barred learners who had not paid fees from proceeding to class before the school and their parents or guardians agree on a viable payment plan.
“We did not send any pupil away, The procedure of closing the gate was meant only to allow registered pupils to enter, while the non-registered would bring their parents to propose a payment plan as advised by our Minister, Professor Paul Mavima on Monday.” Parents, said Mrs Rukunda, were demonstrating their commitment through making agreeable arrangements with the school.
“The opening of this year’s term had almost half the students having fully paid, while the other half has not,” said Mrs Rukunda.
“Those pupils seen roaming the streets in the morning had just been sent home to immediately bring back with them their parents, as we cannot communicate financial issues with minors while we also needed to address parents on the new requirements for pupils starting the new curriculum.” At St Joseph’s Mutare, St Dominic’s High, Sakubva High 2, Chisamba Primary School and Sakubva Primary School lessons were proceeding smoothly.