Schools defy govt directive


SOME schools have defied a government directive that no pupils should be sent away for non-payment of fees.


The development comes in the wake of government’s failure to pay fees for 167 000 pupils under its Basic Education Assistance Module (Beam) due to inadequate budgetary allocations and the pull-out of donor assistance.

Public Service, Labour and Social Welfare director Sydney Mhishi revealed this yesterday when he appeared before the Parliamentary Portfolio Committee on Public Service.

“For Beam, the ministry got $15 million instead of $73 million and the allocated budget will only assist 83 000 against the targeted 250 000 vulnerable children, and the implication is that 167 000 children would not be able to access government assistance for secondary school,” he said.

Government pays $60 per secondary schoolchild under Beam which amounts to $45 million per year and $8 per primary schoolchild under Beam which amounts to $28 million per year.

He said his ministry had formally communicated to donors seeking assistance for Beam, but they had not yet responded to the request.
Aid to street children, children in difficult circumstances and support to persons living with disabilities, maintenance of the elderly and other vulnerable groups will also suffer due to inadequate funding.

Yesterday, NewsDay was inundated with calls from angry parents accusing school heads of defying the government directive.

In one incident, police in Mbare had to intervene after
parents of 35 pupils from Mutendi High School in Masvingo clashed with the hired school bus driver after they allegedly refused to pay bus fare for their children who had been turned away from the school.

Some of the disgruntled parents said that the stranded pupils only left the police station around midnight after police ordered them to pay $8 each for the trip.

“The matter was settled at Mbare Police Station where parents were told to pay $8 for transport, but what happened was discrimination of the highest order. Our children are not happy with that and their studies might be affected,” a concerned parent said.

But Mutendi High School headmaster Sanctions Nathaniel Mutendi said he was not aware of the incident as he was attending a church meeting in Mwenezi.

“I don’t know anything about that. I was attending a church meeting in Mwenezi. Let me talk to others first before I come back to you,” Mutendi said.

He had not responded to the queries at the time of going to print last night.

Mutendi High School transport committee chairperson Zuze Zuze, however, confirmed the fracas saying parents were angry and declined to pay the bus fares prompting the driver to flee to a nearby police post with the children.

At St John’s Chikwaka in Murehwa, parents complained that their children were kept out of dormitories for the whole day only to be
taken in after they were forced to sign some surety forms committing themselves to paying the fees within a specified period.

“The children felt embarrassed and humiliated
as they were denied entry into dormitories despite
commitments by parents to pay fees. It was in bad taste and I think going forward, government must make sure the children are protected by school heads and teachers,” a parent said.

Primary and Secondary School Education minister Lazarus Dokora was recently in the media saying: “As schools open, no child
should be sent home for not paying schools fees and, if
in any case it happens, it is the responsibility of every
parent to seek dialogue with the school head over a payment plan.”

Efforts to get comment from Dokora yesterday were fruitless as he was said to be in a meeting.


  1. When people say there is no rule of law in Zimbabwe ndizvo zvinhu zvavanenge vachiona izvi.What power is in a headmaster that he can not comply with a government directive.Dokora will not take any action against these said headmasters.Worst still,a mission school sending away vana.Asking a parent to pay at least $100.00 and to clear the errear monthend zviri nani,nokuti you always talk of money to cover for food.Madofo awanda muma offices asi they pride themselves in being degree,MBA,PHD and whatever holders.I would not want to do any of these if it makes people void of thinking.

    • Headmasters do not take directives from newspaper statements. Dokora nows very well how to communicate with them. He should have done that. How do you think the school will operate without fees paid.

      • Tito Mboweni I am one of the affected parents. The 25 of us who waited for their kids (I dont know those who had parents far away what happened to them) showed each other that the highest owing figure was 100 usd from a school fee of 490.00. So most parents there had paid between 350 to 450 who were there seriously 2 weeks before end of January would not have affected running a school except if you say the whole figure is used up on the first day of opening. I am talking in particular to Mutendi High and being one of the affected and present parent. On the bus we argued that the school hired the bus and asked eac kid to pay 15 usd because the bus goes to Mutendi and comes back to Harare otherwise to Mutend it is 7 usd. So all in all we paid 23 usd to go to Mutendi and Back. Very cruel. Mutsenurwa the deputy head actuall was wielding a tree branch chasing these kids yet the school had 400 usd of each of these kids in their bank account. Who is to compensate for the lost 2 weeks they will wait for our pay days?

      • VaMboweni,u are not being frank with yourself.The Zimbabwe we are in today is one where most workers have not yet been paid their December salaries and if a parent has made a commitment by paying a certain amount,surely the child does not deserve such a treatment.If Chombo can wake up and tell all council authorities to cancel all their debts through newspapers,Dokora anozvitadza sei.The current state we are in require people who are hands on kwete zvekungotaura

  2. now if the gvt is failing to pay fees for pupils under BEAM where exactly are we going as a nation,plz let us avoid destroying the education system,pay up now,schools must run well bcz thats where our kids get their education,it seems most gvt officials ar busy lining their pockets & not doing anything for the nation

  3. I think Mr Sanctions Mutendi is not being factual. He knows his deputy headmaster a Musenyurwa refused entry to students and what irked us is we had paid almost 90% of the fees and imagine my kid misses lessons because of a 50 dollar shortfall. Please Newsday may you follow up with this Sanction Mutendi because as we speak our kids are home and will only be able to join others next week when we get paid. We actually talked to this Deputy Head who told us to go to anybody Minister or whtever they will do nothing he was so rude as if he has no children. Imagine the time the kids arrived in Harare, about 22:30 exposing our kids to the danger of the roads at night. Maybe the Minister of Education can advise us on what next because this will continue, money is tight but we mostly make sure that all fees are aid within reasonable time.

  4. The rot continues unabated. Yesterday it was Gutu high today its Mutendi. Can the ministry comment on action that was taken on the Gutu head. In all honesty, why are school heads allowed to wield so much power. Everybody knows finances are tight in Zim and to pretend to the contrary is not only foolhardy but disastrous. better options should be sought. lets not put the education of our chdn at the hands of unscrupulous overzealous idiots.

  5. Lets tell one another the truth. This Dokora is confused. He should just get the money from gvt and pay for the your children. You are also mad like him, who do you want to pay for the services your child is receiving? If you do not have money you dont just send your child to school, you go and negotiate with the headmaster. Your child is a border and you want him to eat what? Itawo shungu nedzidzo yemwana wako iwe. Haikono kufurirwa nanadokora awo. They are campaigning here ivo vavo vari kuaustrallia akatobhadhara kare.

    • @Ndagaya- Hapana chama gaya baba iwe..if the balance owing for the remaining 10 weeks is 50 dollars, why would a smart headmaster dismiss children who have paid the 9 weeks? Common sense? In any case are the parents going to be compensated for loss of service by the school for the two weeks children are at home? I think Minister Dokora should suspend these wayward headmasters…The school is owed 50 dollars on closing day NOT on openning day..simple arithmetic suggests.

  6. Vanhu be realistic headmasters must run schools. seriously whose fault is it that you cant pay school fees? either you run to your employer and get more money so you can afford school fees or face reality and take your child to a school that costa the 350 that you can afford. if you fail to pay the 490 or 500 this means the school fees is beyond your means. Things are tough and mari haisi kubatika saka seriously people why then do you want to blame some headmaster who is trying to hold a school together on kushaya kwenyu? There are various schools around Zimbabwe that are affordable and even day schools are affordable so don’t blame anyone on your zeal to live beyond your means. Wake up and smell the coffee ,you cant pay the fees ,you cant…take your child elsewhere and stop crying and blaming other people nekushaya kwenyu

  7. wagaya iwe. if these parents are saying they sent kids with fees dzisina kukwana vega then surely the parents are mad mad ..why didn’t they accompany theirkids and make arrangements with the headmaster? Ndokushaya hanya ka nemwana wawakazvara kungosairira semombe

  8. maita..lm also a parent at Mutendi l have 2 kids there . As a parent lm loving the developments taking place there. l have even compared the diet with school like pamushana and gokomere and believe me lm loving what my children are eating. l make paying my 980 a priority because l don’t want any standard to fall . Parents like you vanodzosera zvikoro pasi. l will bet kuti you haven’t set your foot on the school for a very long time otherwise you would have spent all your bonus on paying fees. Musawisira zvikoro zvirikuzvikurira pasi.

    • @Wrong bark- Many thanks for the advert for the school but do you think it is fair to chase children who have paid 90% of the fees in the middle of the night? My view is schools are only owed the balance when schools close not on the first day. Who is going to compensate the students for the two weeks that are going to be lost till their parents can raise the funds. Second, who should the parents listen to,….the minister of the headmaster?

  9. parents go to your crazy minister and ask him where you should get fees. these schools are running on zvikwereti zvegovernment zviri very shocking . its time these headmasters wake up and take action.

  10. Charles hONDOYI ..Do you have any idea how a school is run? Do you know how much is owed in most schools by both the government through beam and parents like maita? These idiots are keeping it together and making sure teachers give children quality education and good food and you want to support some1 who doesn’t pay their fees .NOW THATS IDIOCY my friend.


  12. I think boarding schools are by choice ,no1 is forced to take students to boarding schools. when yu can afford then you opt for boarding ,clearly most parents cant afford boarding fees and l don’t think its proper to say headmasters should understand that things are tough..ndofuti vabereki vanozoti the same headmasters arikudya mari vawana vana vachidya cabbage risina mafuta.

  13. MAITA ,,chitomanya manya utsvake 50 dhoraz mwana adzokere kuskuru ,ungagara kumba nemwana because of 50 dhoraz unoda kubhadharirwa nani naMutendi haa nyarawo shamwari tsvaka mari shamwari imhosva dzako kuti fees hadzina kukwana hadzisi dzaMutendi

  14. Dohwa zvotaurwa nevarume vakuru,hanzi ndakabhadhara 90% ye Fees.Pamunoranga doro munobhadhara 90% here. Vakomana maHeadmaster vapeyi mukana wekuita basa ravo,kana iwe isingahori mari inokwana chirega zve kusembura vanhu. Tora mwana wako womuendesa kuchikoro chinoringana nembudu yako.

  15. it seems it is becoming more clear that everything that zanu touches dies. even when that thing seems to be living it would have died from the roots. so the next thing to die and be finally be buried here in zim is education. zanu will not leave it still alive. the party is about to make sure that it is finally died and buried.

    • Your not poor because you do not have a degree, NC, ND, HND etc. you are poor because you do not realise who you are and your potential. David had no formal training in army neither did he have a uniform that could fit him. But knowing what was in him and knowing that he was secretely ordained by the prophet of the day (Samuel) he fought the greatest challenge of the day (Goliath).

  16. Those parents who are complaining about school fees isina kukwana are mainly from the ZANU PF vakajaira zvemahara and now its time for you to realise kuti should go and ask mari from your Party yakahwima nekuba……ma elections hezvo ka…tuzu vana vadzorwa from zvikoro imi mai caimpaigner for free education come after elections phone yamashefu yodzimwa…kikikiki

  17. Don’t understand why government want to mess up an education system that was on the recovery path. I mean seriously, of all the failed ministries they just had to add one more? Ok so parents eventualy don’t pay fees at all and the risk of reduced education delivery standards increase due to lack of funds…Hapana support inobva ku government toward schools for ages now, ukuwo a good percentage of underpriviledged children wont be under BEAM due to lack of funds, ukuwo we hear incentives for teachers have been drastically cut…..just a bad situation and like all things touched by government, wont end well.

  18. dzosai vana kuma day xuls, kana ma kolej e $20 pe month akawanda sterek. Vabereki musazvimanikidze zvamusingagone. U ar civil servant earnin $420 then u woendesa mwana ku chikoro che $490 thats stupidity at ts highest level

Comments are closed.