Schools hike fees

The majority of parents have paid up fees for the term, which begins today.

Yesterday, pupils boarding buses to their schools were being asked to produce receipts confirming payment of fees. Those who did not have the proof of payment were not allowed into the buses.

Many schools had provisionally raised fees in anticipation of a positive response from the Ministry of Education, Sport, Arts and Culture.
Some schools yesterday said letters of fee increase approval were already coming through from the Ministry.

Moleli High School increased its fees from US$350 to US$512, Nyadire High School (US$300 to US$400), Howard (US$400 to US$530), St Francis of Assisi (US$270 to US$400), St Alberts High School (US$334 to US$467), Bradley (US$432 to US$493), Hartzel (US$380 to US$420) and Chipindura High School (US$476 to US$540).
Form One pupils at St Alberts pay US$500 while those at Marange High School pay US$510, including uniform fees.

Those at Nyazura Adventist High School pay US$415, including US$65 desk fee.
However, schools like Mutendi, Daramombe, Ngezi and Langham had not increased their fees.

All schools raising fees must first call a meeting with parents, present a budget to them, gain approval and then send the budget, the list of parents at the meeting, and minutes of the meeting, which include the votes, to the Ministry for approval or modification.
Usually if there is a significant majority and the budget makes sense, the ministry approves it.

Moleli High School’s bursar, who identified himself as Mr Mudukwa, said Government approved their application yesterday. “We applied for the increases in agreement with parents last year and the response only came this morning (yesterday),” he said.

Some parents who had skipped meetings and not read letters from their children’s school were having to top up fees paid yesterday.

Education, Sport, Arts and Culture Deputy Minister Lazarus Dokora yesterday said it was illegal for schools to increase fees in anticipation of Government approval.
“Some schools are justified to increase fees, but these increases should be tied to what would have been agreed between SDCs, school authorities and parents. No approval will be contemplated without proof that there was an agreement meeting between parents and school administrators.”

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