Schools must not sell uniforms by force: minister

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MOST schools in Mashonaland West are forcing parents to buy expensive uniforms from them a move parents say is daylight robbery.

Own Correspondent

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.

29 COMMENTS

  1. Tts a very bad move and the minister must nt jst tok bt act upon it coz these guys are ripping us off. The move must b banned totally. At Chiredzi Gvt Secondary School its js outrageous. I am supplying them with girls blousers @ $6 a piece and they are selling the sem thing at $12. Something must be done urgently

    • @Wezhira- Good point! It should not end up with just banning..these schools are getting carried away with this daylight robbery..they should be prosecuted. Banning is not enough..what happens to those who have been prejudiced by this unfair trade practice already? Can they take the uniforms back and buy elsewhere like those who have not are doing now. Why should they be prejudiced? It is like the extractive levies they are charging will nilly. Courtenay Sealous Primary is charging 140 dollars when some boarding secondary schools are charging less levies.. 50 dollars should be a fair levy from all government former group A schools not this madness. Unless prosecution is put in place for these schools charging mad levies and forcing parents to buy uniforms from their friends this practice will continue in the dark of night. One would have expected schools to charge less not more for these uniforms. Prosecute them to the full extent of the law!

  2. Its unfair at Marist Brothers they are charging $300.00 for form 1 uniforms yet when you compare even with enbee it cost around $185 its very unfair something must be done please with these shcools

  3. Thanks that the matter has been accepted by the minister as unfair. I say to the minister concerned that scholl authorities must not engage in businesses at schools but to promote the education of children.The whole thing must come to end with immedieate effect and school that does abide by that order must face the music. Pliz minister call for an end to this exercise and order all heads of schools to report to your office any misconduct of this nature.

  4. Capitalising on the over burden citizen.Surely,Zim’s Nigga will never ride on a horse.And its happening in government schools.My foot!Has Zimbabwe become the biblical Egypt

  5. The Education Minister should not just issue empty threats to schools via newspapers as if he is working in cohoots with these papers to market their newspapers. He should infect communicate with schools heads through the normal chanell. I mean through circulars. Why mention only schools in Mashland West province yet the practice is rampant in almost all schools through out the country. With some schools just a stone throw from the Minister’s office. One such empty threat was the non increase of schools fees yet some universities have already increase school fees for this semesster yet there is a salary freeze especially in Government.

    • Yes some schools are chasing away children, e,g Mutendi High School even those who have paid two thirds of the fees. Yet the Minister say no child should be denied entry into school. Can he comment. This school say it is the Ministry’s directive that they should not allow the kids in the school so he is waiting for hem by the gate.

  6. Open skul robbery for new pupils.Minister must act b4 it’s too late.I’m surprised that all the uniforms are not either cheaper at skuls.How come they are expensive when they are supposed to be cheaper since they buy in bulk.Corruption is now @ every skul.Every1 involved in the supply chain of uniforms is corrupt.Some1 hv to stop the rot Now.

  7. Minister Dokora, I am sure unprofessional behaviour warrants some form of discipline. For starters, Mr Minister, can you issue a directive to address this situation. Parents are being ripped off by most schools around the country. I am sure government has the mandate to put this in order. Its time to act and not just talk.

  8. When local manufacturers went ballistic charging crazy prices they found to their horror that people were racing to SA to buy products and retailers simply followed suit with the result that 70% of shelf space is owned by SA producers…now schools are the one element left for sanity to prevail in the economy..how do you justify selling something at 100% markup in a 5% inflation enviroment..we know they also get commission from the producers for selling to a captive market. Roll back all school levies to pre 2012 levels for sanity to prevail. People have gone mad in some of those schools and as long as prosecution does not visit offenders this practice will continue!

  9. Wisdom after the event.

    You Minister. You are not a wise man.

    I suspect you are alcoholic or dementic.

    You had all half of December and part of January to stop this.

    why only talking after schools have opened?

    We have already been robbed and We see this as populist noise.

    Better keep quite in your carcoon

  10. Its all about total mismanagement of the education system. Schools should not be in the business of selling school uniforms leave it to retailers NB, Greatermans etc, therefore a sane minister will ban sell of uniforms from schools immidiately. Do these schools pay VAT for the sales, ZIMRA chase them up and get VAT. Also issues of civic days and their horific charges should be addressed that is no civic days in schools; address incentive issue broadly to factor in the rural and poorman’s school teachers. Disappointed Educationist.

  11. The minister should wake up to reality. Zimbos are not rich. He should standardize government primary and secondary uniforms and have only different ties and hats for the schools. This way we can buy the basics cheaper. The headmasters are changing the uniforms frequently, especially the girls dresses.

  12. Saka vana vevarombo havachaende kuchikoro,can’t afford these uniforms ari kutengeswa nechikoro.Chikoro chakazotanga kuita supermarket rinhi there core mandate is to teach not sell

  13. Let these people review their operations. Some people are cornered to buy school buses, change uniforms and pay high levies at the same time. Try Mpumelelo Primary in Bulawayo where parents are said to have agreed when they in fact are crying fowl. Education to all shall be unarchievable at such high costs! May the Minister stipulate seilings for levies according to the vicinity of the school!

    • Ceilings for levies for schools will arrest the rot obtaining in most schools at the moment..I believe 50 dollars is sufficient for former group A schools primary and 70 for secondary..then the Minister will have leeway to increase the fees to 30 dollars for primary and 50 for secondary or something to that effect. Those in former group B would be 20 dollars for primary and 30 for secondary with fees moving up to 10 dollars primary and 30 dollars secondary.. All government schools should follow this without fail..come on Minister! This madness has to stop!

  14. School Heads of schools forcing pupils to buy uniform frm the school must be investigated by the anti-corruption commission. These Headmasters either have shares in the “company” making these uniforms, or their close relatives supply the uniforms.

    I’m talking from experience because I have been a teacher at a Catholic Boarding school for the past 10 years where i saw all sorts of corrupt activities.

    Let parents have the choice to buy uniform in shops of their own choice. If a pupil brings to school wrong uniform, it’s then that the school should confiscate the wrong uniform.

    Schools which need transparency send retailers their school emblems for badges, but those corrupt heads hide behind a finger of wanting uniformity. What uniformity is greater than the mere colour of the uniform? Some of us went to schools in the 80s but we had a choice to buy uniform anywhere.

    Pasi nema Headmaster mbavha

  15. Can Hon J. Moyo and Hon S Mandiwanzira take charge of Min of Education as well. Hon L Dokora save our poor souls, unless if u are also benefiting from this rotten scam.

  16. Can Hon J. Moyo and Hon S Mandiwanzira take charge of Min of Education as well. Hon L Dokora save our poor souls, unless if u are also benefiting from this rotten scam. In Harare the practice is rife also.

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