BY PRAISEMORE SITHOLE
PARENTS and guardians yesterday expressed concern over the escalating prices of uniforms and groceries as they accompanied their children back to boarding schools.
Parents said they came face to face with reality that uniforms and groceries for their children were no longer affordable considering their salaries.
Government recently awarded civil servants a 76% cost of living adjustment which they described as far below their expectations.
The civil servants had demanded that the lowest paid worker be awarded $4 000 per month.
A survey carried out in Bulawayo revealed that some of shops had increased prices as the demand for uniforms and stationery peaked.
In an interview, one of the parents, Nutt Zondo said prices of books and transport had increased, but he was not sure about fees.
“Prices have skyrocketed. I used to buy an exercise book for $1 at the beginning of the year, but now the cheapest is going for $3, a pair of trousers is going for $90 and transport fares have tripled,” Zondo said.
Another parent, Vimbai Hunidzarira said: “We are just sending our children for the sake of sending them, we are left with nothing. Anytime, the fees can go up and we have nothing to offer because our pay has not been increased.”
At some boarding schools, pupils are now being asked to bring additional groceries, including beans and rice, to augment fees.
“It has not been easy. They have staggered the payment plan for the fees, everything is now very expensive. Prices have skyrocketed, but our salaries have not been increased at all,” another parent Mthabisi Ndebele said.