The Ministry of Primary and Secondary Education (MoPSE) has warned schools demanding fees exclusively in United States dollars (USD).
Schools reopened on Monday this week for the third term and some schools are reportedly demanding fees exclusively in USD saying the Zimbabwe dollar is not a good store of value.
MoPSE spokesperson, Mr Taungana Ndoro, urged parents and guardians to report such schools. He said:
Government policy clearly states that payment can be made in either USD or RTGS at the prevailing interbank bank rate. Those that are demanding exclusive US$ payment must know it’s a criminal offence that warrants an arrest.
The ministry is also aware of schools that are saying if parents pay in RTGS there is going to be a top up midterm. School authorities cannot simply call for a top up without the approval of the ministry. It is illegal and if that happens parents need to report to the ministry so that the school is brought to book.
Some schools are sending learners back home demanding fees in defiance of the government policy which states that no child should be sent away for non-payment of school fees.
Schools argue that they want the money for the smooth running of day-to-day operations.
Some parents and guardians of learners have lamented over school fees tagged in United States dollars (USD) when teachers are said to be absent from work.
A concerned parent told ZBC News that it was not fair for schools to demand payment in USD but then they end up taking that money for their personal use and swipe in RTGS instead. Said another parent:
We need the government to come in and put order because the situation is just out of hand, you pay the fees in USD but the teacher is not available for lessons, you retaliate by paying in RTGS and you’re made to pay for extra lessons and teachers incentive.
Meanwhile, teachers are reported to be on the go slow waiting for the government to raise their salaries.