Govt in U-turn over exam fees

BY VANESSA GONYE

The Primary and Secondary Education ministry yesterday reversed its decision to hike this year’s Zimbabwe Schools Examinations Council (Zimsec) exam fees following an outcry by parents and teacher organisations.

Primary and Secondary Education minister Cain Mathema said there was need to carry out further consultations before effecting any increases.

“While the examination fees that were published are based on the actual cost of each examination, the ministry would like to inform parents and guardians that following further representations, the recently released circular on the 2020 examination fees has been cancelled with immediate effect,” he said in a statement.

“New fees will be announced after further consultations have been made with all the relevant stakeholders. Parents and guardians are, therefore, advised to continue paying the old fees approved in 2015.”

Government announced new fees ranging from $190 to $443 per subject for Ordinary Level and $351 to $432 per subject for Advanced Level.

The closing date for payment and submission of entries for June 2020 examinations remains February 28.

For November 2020 examinations, the closing date for payment and submission of entries is March 27, while the closing date for late entry is May 15.

Nyaradzo Mashayamombe, who leads the Every Child In School campaign, said the right to education was under threat in the country.

“Why do organisations like Zimsec not remain guided by that order? We are, therefore, asking the government to immediately scrap altogether the examination fees taking into consideration that currently, parents are struggling to even get the children’s examination fees,” she said.

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