THE MINISTRY of Primary and Secondary Education says only tuition fees structures that have been approved by the Ministry will be considered binding and public schools must not effect fees hike without Government approval.
This comes after some schools had already effected up to 200 percent fees hike on the 2022 first term fees even as schools remain closed for at least three weeks..
Director of communication and advocacy in the Education Ministry, Taungana Ndoro, said in terms of the Education Act, any tuition fees adjustment must be approved by a majority of the parents at a meeting of the School Parents Assembly attended by not less than 20 percent of the parents.
The school authorities will then tender an application for an adjustment accompanied by minutes of the meeting and the school budget to the Ministry for processing, Ndoro said, adding that Government does not impose tuition fees on schools.
“Parents and the schools must have school development plans and budgets every year,” he said.
“They put the budget proposals, including any proposed school fees adjustments, to a vote and they come up with a consensus on whether to adjust school fees.
“They then approach the Ministry with that adjustment proposal for the Ministry to validate or approve that agreed position. So what the Ministry does is to endorse an already agreed position between the parents and the school.
“Where you have issues of parents complaining, it is either perhaps they have not attended the meeting or they were outvoted.
“We don’t impose any school fees structure on any school”.
Ndoro said some schools do not even apply for adjustment because their current fees structure will be adequate to fund their budgets.
“We cannot say we are going to adjust fees when some schools are comfortable with the school fees that was approved last time. We look at the applications on a case by case basis.
“One school’s needs differ from those of the next because school development projects are different.
“Some may want to build a school hall, others want to build a tennis court and others want to build hostels, so their needs are very different.”
Meanwhile, acting President Constantino Chiwenga on Friday indefinitely postponed the re-opening of schools citing the high number of deaths under the current lockdown.
He said the reopening of the schools will now depend on the prevailing Covid-19 situation after three weeks.