School heads have pleaded with the Zimbabwe School Examination Council (ZIMSEC) to open a bank account solely for examinations where candidates can directly deposit examination fees.
The president of the National Association of Secondary School Heads (NASH), Arthur Maphosa, who is also Gwanda High School head, said such an initiative by ZIMSEC will save schools from huge bank charges.
Currently, schools administer the registration of candidates and collect registration fees, which they then transfer to the examination body but incur bank charges in the process.
Speaking in Victoria Falls where some school heads were attending a NASH conference, Maphosa said bank charges incurred by schools when transferring examination fees to ZIMSEC leave some of them poorer. Said Maphosa:
While we appreciate that the registration of candidates is our responsibility, the transmission of money from schools to ZIMSEC has become a serious expenditure on schools.
There is also an urgent need to address this issue as schools are left financially poorer every time they collect these fees on behalf of the examination council.
Schools suffer bank and transport costs for business which does not benefit them and we appeal to the Ministry of Primary and Secondary Education and ZIMSEC to help address this nightmare.
It could be better if those charges could be taken care of by ZIMSEC. The unfortunate scenario is that those expenses are then passed on to the poor parents because schools get forced to review their fees in order to keep operating.
ZIMSEC spokesperson Nicky Dlamini told CITE that they had engaged the Ministry of Finance and Economic Development for exemption of bank charges but the application was rejected.