Rapid response centres to tackle school malpractices

The Government has set up close to 100 rapid response centres countrywide for parents to report school authorities that unilaterally hike tuition fees, conduct unsanctioned extra-lessons and turn away pupils for non-payment of fees, among other malpractices.

More than 250 officials in the Ministry of Primary and Secondary Education have been assigned to handle cases of alleged misconduct that include the use of corporal punishment and discriminatory enrolment, among other infractions.

Speaking at World Literacy Day commemorations held last week at St John’s Chikwaka High School, Goromonzi, Mashonaland East, Primary and Secondary Education Minister Torerayi Moyo said the Government was committed to providing quality universal education for all. He said parents and guardians should use the centres to ensure malpractices are curbed.

“Parents must pay fees and levies for their children to keep the education system functioning normally,” he said.

“There is an issue that keeps on happening in schools and that is barring pupils from schools over failure by their parents or guardians to pay school fees and levies.

“We emphasise that no pupil should be turned away over non-payment of fees according to the Constitution of Zimbabwe.

“Turning them away is a violation of the pupils’ rights.

“No school is allowed to turn away students for whatever reason and if you commit a crime, the long arm of the law will descend on you.”

In terms of Circular Number 1 of 2023, all Government boarding schools, private early childhood development centres

(ECD), and private schools and colleges are required to apply for a review of levies and tuition fees before effecting changes.

Minister Moyo called on parents to responsibly pay school fees for their children.

A fortnight ago, the Government threatened to publicly name and shame schools found to have unprocedurally adjusted tuition fees and levies before receiving approval for the changes from the ministry.

Authorities also launched an investigation targeting the rogue schools, including some suspected of demanding payment of tuition fees exclusively in United States dollars.

“While the right to education is protected, parents are still responsible for the education and well-being of their children,” he continued.

“It is the responsibility of every parent to contribute to the education of their child.

“Basic State-funded education is already being provided to all through the payment of teacher’s salaries, subsidies to public examinations, social safety nets, in particular BEAM (Basic Education Assistance Module), different grants as well as the provision of public schools under both central; and local government.”

The Government, he added, was focused on gradually reducing user costs that parents are paying through fees and levies.

“As the size of our fiscus increases, so will the fees and levies reduce to the desired State-funded education as enshrined under the Constitution of Zimbabwe,” he said.

Minister Moyo said, given the prevailing socio-economic challenges, the Government established safety nets such as BEAM to cushion those from disadvantaged homes.

The programme was adopted in 2001 and pays tuition and examination fees, and levies for underprivileged children.

World Literacy Day is celebrated on September 8 annually.

This year’s commemorations were held under the theme “Promoting Literacy for Peace and Sustainable Development”.

The Government has set up close to 100 rapid response centres countrywide for parents to report school authorities that unilaterally hike tuition fees, conduct unsanctioned extra-lessons and turn away pupils for non-payment of fees, among other malpractices.

More than 250 officials in the Ministry of Primary and Secondary Education have been assigned to handle cases of alleged misconduct that include the use of corporal punishment and discriminatory enrolment, among other infractions.

Speaking at World Literacy Day commemorations held last week at St John’s Chikwaka High School, Goromonzi, Mashonaland East, Primary and Secondary Education Minister Torerayi Moyo said the Government was committed to providing quality universal education for all. He said parents and guardians should use the centres to ensure malpractices are curbed.

“Parents must pay fees and levies for their children to keep the education system functioning normally,” he said.

“There is an issue that keeps on happening in schools and that is barring pupils from schools over failure by their parents or guardians to pay school fees and levies.

“We emphasise that no pupil should be turned away over non-payment of fees according to the Constitution of Zimbabwe.

“Turning them away is a violation of the pupils’ rights.

“No school is allowed to turn away students for whatever reason and if you commit a crime, the long arm of the law will descend on you.”

In terms of Circular Number 1 of 2023, all Government boarding schools, private early childhood development centres

(ECD), and private schools and colleges are required to apply for a review of levies and tuition fees before effecting changes.

Minister Moyo called on parents to responsibly pay school fees for their children.

A fortnight ago, the Government threatened to publicly name and shame schools found to have unprocedurally adjusted tuition fees and levies before receiving approval for the changes from the ministry.

Authorities also launched an investigation targeting the rogue schools, including some suspected of demanding payment of tuition fees exclusively in United States dollars.

“While the right to education is protected, parents are still responsible for the education and well-being of their children,” he continued.

“It is the responsibility of every parent to contribute to the education of their child.

“Basic State-funded education is already being provided to all through the payment of teacher’s salaries, subsidies to public examinations, social safety nets, in particular BEAM (Basic Education Assistance Module), different grants as well as the provision of public schools under both central; and local government.”

The Government, he added, was focused on gradually reducing user costs that parents are paying through fees and levies.

“As the size of our fiscus increases, so will the fees and levies reduce to the desired State-funded education as enshrined under the Constitution of Zimbabwe,” he said.

Minister Moyo said, given the prevailing socio-economic challenges, the Government established safety nets such as BEAM to cushion those from disadvantaged homes.

The programme was adopted in 2001 and pays tuition and examination fees, and levies for underprivileged children.

World Literacy Day is celebrated on September 8 annually.

This year’s commemorations were held under the theme “Promoting Literacy for Peace and Sustainable Development”.

Sunday Mail

Positive Eye News

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