Schools warned against fees hikes

Walter Mswazie Masvingo Correspondent
THE Ministry of Primary and Secondary Education has warned school heads in Masvingo against increasing tuition fees without approval.

Provincial education director Zadius Chitiga said a government directive to first seek authority from the permanent secretary before any increase on tuition still stands and no one should violate it.

Chitiga said any school head found to have increased tuition without following procedure will be charged as they would have violated a government directive.

He said all schools were expected to use the previous term’s fees structure unless there was a strong justification for the increase which can only be done after consultation with the parent ministry.

He urged schools to liaise with parents and the Ministry when they want to increase levies.

“Nothing has changed on the issue of fees. No school is expected to increase fees ahead of the opening of schools today. School heads can only violate the Ministry’s directive on fees at their own peril,” said Chitiga.

“When a school head feels that there’s need to increase the fees, he or she is expected to consult the parent Ministry.

“This also applies to the issue of levies, they should agree with parents through School Development Committee (SDC).”

He said all school heads were expected to operate within the confines of the laid down statutes failure which punitive measures would be taken against the culprits.

“The idea of fees is for the school to meet administrative needs so that the actual objective of making education accessible to the child is achieved. However, access to education will be compromised if that education is made expensive through arbitrary increasing school fees. This is against the background that access to education should be ensured through charging affordable school fees. Violating that remains a punishable offence for that particular head,” he said.

Chitiga said school heads should not to send children away over failure by parents to pay fees on time.

“The government is still stuck with the policy which bars school heads from sending away children over fees payment. That’s the work of parents and nothing has changed.”

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