Schools barring children from exam registration

PARENTS have expressed concern over some school authorities who are denying their children the opportunity to register for examinations until they have settled outstanding school fees.

Phyllis Mbanje

This is most prevalent in towns like Masvingo, Chiredzi, Kwekwe, and even in the capital Harare where pupils who have not paid their school fees in full were being barred from registering for their examinations.

Angry parents and guardians inundated NewsDay last week with calls, complaining that their children would miss out on the deadline.

“It is not fair that my child might actually miss the deadline simply because the school authorities at Chiredzi Government Secondary School are adamant that I settle outstanding fees before registering my child,” one parent said.

Christian Secondary School, also in Chiredzi, was also reportedly declining to register pupils who have not yet paid their fees in full and many parents were left stranded as they were failing to come up with the fees in time to register their children.

“I have a payment plan with the school, but the bursar is refusing to accept money for examinations, saying I needed to settle the fees first, but I’m worried about the deadline,” another parent said.

Meanwhile, several schools in and out of Harare are still chasing away pupils who have not yet paid their fees despite a directive by the government to desist from the practice.

Primary and Secondary Education minister Lazarus Dokora is on record saying that no child should be chased away from school for non-payment of school fees.

He has said schools should instead work out a payment plan with the parents.

The Zimbabwe Lawyers for Human Rights also issued a statement at the beginning of this term calling on schools to be considerate and observe the rights of the children to education.

However, most schools, especially from the high-density suburbs, were chasing away pupils who had not paid their fees or had outstanding balances from previous terms.

A headmaster from a local school defended the action, saying they had resorted to such harsh measures as most “parents were too relaxed”.

“Initially, we never used to chase away the pupils, but we realised that some parents and guardians were taking us for granted. This is one way of making sure they pay up. It’s working and many are now paying up,” he said.

Reached to comment on what action the ministry would take on such school authorities, an official with the public relations office requested that the questions be put in writing and sent to the Permanent Secretary who, however, had not responded by the time of going to print.

12 Comments

  1. I think what these people can do is register the pupil for exams and then deny him the results until he settles the bill. Some are not doing it deliberatley, Exams are once off events which one cannot miss like a lesson because a lesson you can cover.

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  2. i think even harare polytechnic shud underrstand us as well they are denying us to register hexco exams without paying full fees yet the deadline is so close…Mr mudondo understand yo students

  3. Bhora mugedhi

    Ndiro bhora mugedhi majaira zvemuhara saka who will pay for the stationery and all other requirements for the exams

  4. Where do these authorities get the power to laugh the Minister in the face like this? What informs this blatant insurbodination? Hakusi kufarisa here uku?

  5. NDAGAYA MANJE

    Dokora wenyu uyu ///// He is destroying education. I was surprised that someone driving an ML failed to pay $60 fees for his son. If the government is serious, they should just say education is now free and they fund everything. Dokora is killing our education.

  6. NDAGAYA MANJE

    People are spending money calling Newsday informing them that their children are being denied registration before paying fees but they dont want to pay. Instead of calling the press, just use the money to pay for your child’s fees. Who do you want to pay for your child? Munoti kunzi baba kubara chete nhai? Munovabarirei vana vacho? You cant pay for your child but your girlfriend’s child had fees paid by you on time. Chiredzi is asking for $50 only but you drive expensive cars and dont have. Woe to you.

  7. These parents knew ages ago that their kids will be writing exams and yet never prepared for this eventuality. There is no need crying to anybody the blame is on your doorsteps. If any parent has interests in their children’s future then certainly all this should have been avoided. Yes the economic situation is problematic at the moment but so has it been for the better part of these kids’ lives so please vabereki planning and preparation is important. Kana zvakona mazuvano tiri kushaya yafudzi vembudzi and it vana vamapenzi akaita se these kind of parents whom we will handsomely pay 20 per month haaa haa haa

  8. Its quite clear what these parents are prioritising. Mari yekubhahdara exam fees makaiwanepi muine chikwereti kuchikoro. Saka waona zviri nani kubhadhara exam fees chikoro chedu tinokoshesa dzidzo yevana vedu chichifa? Saka hauzvioni here kuti Dokora unoda kuuraya fundo yavana vedu vagoita vafudzi vemombe. Pawakazvara mwana wako waisaziva here kuti uchazobhadhara school fees and exam fees. Zvimwe zvinosvodisa

  9. Zvimwe zvinongoda kuti tive nerudo nevana vedu tisatevedza vana Dofora ava.

  10. Most of the comments above reveal a high level of Stockholm Syndrome. We’ve been oppressed for too long, from the days of Mzilikazi up to right now. The current failure to pay fees is a direct result of this accelerated economic meltdown and profiteering by schools. In most urban schools the fees are simply too high and most school heads have developed Naamanite skins, hence they are suspect on the use of excess money generated by these schools. Ladies and ‘gentlemen’ life after July 31 2013 has become hell for a good number of the population, stop demonising each other. Soon the government will fail to pay its workers and the situation will be worse. I think Majaira is a school head who’s now losing his Naamanite skin because of parents’ failure to pay fees, and Llodza is a son/daughter of a lizard or worse still a zanu pf turncoat who has been bludgeoning poverty into us for 34 years now.

  11. I am surprised that the headmasters are fuming over school fees. Is the school a private company now. We want to investigate all the headmasters who are chasing away pupils for fees. Dzinobuda nyaya dzinotyisa. The government is paying them and i wonder what they want to use the money for. Wanga wajaira kudya warere haikona. Manje navaDokora hamulume. kikikikikikikikikkikikikikikii

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