Schools barring children from exam registration

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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.

2 COMMENTS

  1. 1. People have been made to anticipate free gifts in everything.
    2. They will register for exams in school and take their children to private colleges for lessons.
    3. Government auditors will demand to know from the headmaster or head mistress why pupils who had not paid school fees were allowed to continue attending school and, can even make the school-head to be charged by the Ministry, or make them pay the outstanding sums owed by the students.
    4. Newspapers and the ZHLR should question why such parents make noise now when they have gone for months, terms or even years without paying school fees for their children. What did they plan to do? Just to make noise in the papers and hope for outbursts of public sympathy at critical junctures like this?

  2. Kana muchiita vana ava plan first. Plan for your children. Where are you getting money to register mwana wako iwe uchishaya ye school fees. Chii chakatanga registration kana chikwereti. Ko zvaa zvakadini kutanga wabhadhara chikwereti kuti kuti chikoro chifambe vamwe vana vose vadzidze. Ko waimboitireiko mwana usingade kuzobhadhara school fees. Ko asi hausi kuzviona here kuti dokora unoda kuuraya dzidzo neramangwana revana vedu? Ko? ? Ko…………. Wake up shamwari uratidze rudo kumwana nekubhadhara school fees kwete kuteedzera vana Dokora vanoda kuuraya nyika

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