MOST schools in Mashonaland West are forcing parents to buy expensive uniforms from them a move parents say is daylight robbery.
The most affected are parents of pupils going for Grade One and Form One. Also affected are those changing schools and those changing uniforms like Form Threes.
Concerned parents accuse school authorities of corruptly benefiting from the exercise as the school uniforms are exorbitantly priced and parents are forced to buy them in order to secure places for their children.
At Chinhoyi High School a set of girls uniforms that usually costs $180 is going for $290 at the school while uniforms for boys cost $240 at the school, but can be bought at other outlets for $140.
A parent whose daughter will be in Form One at Chinhoyi High school said what worried him most was that the school didn’t have the uniforms as they awaited to have them delivered from somewhere.
“What pains me most is that the school doesn’t have the uniforms. They told my daughter to bring her Grade Seven uniform when schools open until she is given the uniform at the school,” complained Nyemba.
Other schools in Chinhoyi that are forcing parents to buy uniforms from them include Chemagamba and Nemakonde high schools and Sinoa Primary School.
An employee at Chemagamba school who refused to be identified said the move was taken as a measure to discourage students from buying “fancy school uniforms” and for the school to have one standard type of uniform.
Contacted for comment Primary and Secondary Education minister Lazarus Dokora deplored what he called “unprofessional behaviour” by some school authorities.
“We don’t condone such unprofessional behaviour. We want a process that allows parents to have a choice on where to buy uniforms. All things being equal, uniforms at schools should be cheaper than they are in other shops, not the other way round,” said Dokora.