By Mlungisi Nkomazana
PRIVATE schools have hiked fees for first term 2022 and announced the start of online lessons, with some institutions excluding pupils whose fees is yet to be paid.
Government recently directed all public schools that intend to adjust their tuition fees and school development levies for the 2022 first term to apply for approval from the Ministry of Primary and Secondary Education before effecting the changes.
However, a report by the Chronicle says some private schools have hiked school fees for the first term with the highest charging US$3 000.
Dominican Convent is charging $180 000, Girls College $345 000, Christian Brothers College (CBC) US$ 1 300, Whitestone US$1 350, and S.O.S US$600 payable in local currency at bank rate.
Carmel is charging US$800, Centenary US$850, Montessori US$600 and US$50 for levy, Amazon charges US$500, Petra senior $264 000, Petra Junior is $176 000, Midlands Christian College (MCC) fees range from US$858 to US$1 408 for day scholars, and US$1 624 to US$3 872 for boarders depending on the child’s form.
The publication reports that most parents and guardians deem the fees as ridiculously high choose to suffer in silence, fearful that approaching the ministry will affect their children.
It also quotes Zimbabwe Teachers Association (ZIMTA) president Richard Gundani saying due process is not being followed by the schools and parents must reclaim their voice and say on matters such as fees adjustments.
“These fees hikes must be informed by reality, and the realities on the ground are determined particularly by the parents who are the stakeholders in the schools, so what is supposed to happen is that proper information has to be given to the parents and these parents then work a plan of how they can tackle this issue looking at the budget,” Gundani said.
“What we have realised now when we are talking to parents of children in these private schools is they are beginning to cry foul saying that the fees are now too high, then we get surprised as to who is determining this issue.
“So, the thing is, due process in most cases is not being followed in terms of determining these fees because the parents are crying foul, and in most cases that they do not get value for their money,” he said.