JUST IN:  More parents fail to pay school fees Professor Paul Mavima

Chronicle Reporter

GOVERNMENT has said traditional leaders must mobilise people in rural areas to pay school fees, with parents required to make payment plans when facing financial challenges.

The Minister of Public Service, Labour and Social Service Professor Paul Mavima said after Government indicated that no learner’s right to education should be violated on account of parents not being able to pay fees, it has been established that a lot of parents reneged on their responsibilities knowing that learners are not sent back home for non-payment.

Responding to questions in parliament last week, the Minister said government has used a number of approaches including persuading parents to make payment arrangements when they are failing to pay the full amount and schools have been told to accept such payment arrangements.

“We have appealed to traditional leaders to mobilise the communities in order to support the schools and to communicate the problems that are faced with schools when parents do not pay. We have also publicised the BEAM programme and assessments are made of the households to ensure that these are vulnerable households who qualify for that kind of assistance. If that happens and they qualify, then the school gets money directly from us,” he said.

“I think that the onus is on Government to try and find ways in which we can generate enough resources to make good our policy for free basic education. I know it might take a while. We have legislated for it but now Government needs to work together to generate enough resources so that we can make good that policy of free basic education with schools that are well supported with infrastructure and teachers. That is a matter that is of urgent importance in all parts of our country, especially where we have vulnerable communities.”

The Minister said this when Umzingwane lawmaker, Levi Mayihlome, asked him what Government is going to do to ensure that schools are capacitated to function when parents are not paying school fees.

He said in some schools like in his constituency, only four out of 200 parents are paying school fees.

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