The Herald (Harare)

Zimbabwe: Schools Heed Govt Call On Fees Payment

Schools opened yesterday with most of those in the capital heeding Government calls to admit pupils who had not paid fees for the term. Parents in Harare expressed happiness that their children had been spared from expulsion on the first day of school.

However, some schools in Bulawayo, Gweru and Masvingo defied the Government directive and barred pupils who had not paid their fees.

Scores of school children from Bulawayo's eastern suburbs were seen going back home after being sent away for non-payment.

The provincial education directors for Bulawayo, Gweru and Masvingo said they would follow with school authorities in the affected areas.

Bulawayo provincial education director Mr Dan Moyo said: "I will check with the heads and talk to them on why they are sending pupils when the directive is clear."

Mrs Agnes Gudo said her office was making follow-ups at the schools. "It is not proper for the authorities to send children away especially on the opening day," said Mrs Gudo.

In Harare, Mrs Mary Matsika of Highfield said she had prepared a letter to her three children's headmaster seeking reprieve.

"I'm so relieved that my three children were admitted into school today . . . I was expecting them to be sent away," she said.

It is Government policy that no pupil should be sent home for non-payment of fees.

Education, Sport, Arts and Culture Deputy Minister Lazarus Dokora attributed the normalcy to increased supervision of Government schools.

"We have increased the number of supervisors that are doing routine rounds in schools for us to satisfy ourselves that the system is conforming to stipulated and regulated behaviour," he said.

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