Mukudzei Chingwere Herald Reporter
SCHOOLS have been urged to be considerate in their proposals for new fees ahead of the reopening of schools from Monday.
While exchange rates and prices have been stable since the end of June following the introduction of foreign exchange auctions, most fees and levies were set in the first term when inflation was still raging and when schools were closed in March, had not been adjusted.
Some schools are looking at catching up with others already proposing huge increases in fees. Many public schools are charging around $30 000 for boarding, while day schools are looking at pegging levies from $1 000 to $7 000, depending on level and type of school.
A circular seen after consultative meetings by the provincial education directors indicated that levies for boarding schools range from $21 000 to $35 000, levies for day primary from $1 000 to $3 000 and levies for day secondary from $3 000 to $7 000.
National Association of Secondary Heads president Mr Arthur Maposa said while there was a strong case for schools to increase fees to remain viable, the hikes should be reasonable.
“The biggest challenge is that the increase in fees is not at par with the increase in most parents’ salaries,” said Mr Maposa. “It is, however, difficult to come up with a blanket figure because the increases will depend on the size of the school but like I said, we need to be sensitive to the plight of parents.
“There is a process that is followed when increasing fees,” said Mr Maposa.
Primary and Secondary Education Minister Ambassador Cain Mathema last week said:
“Schools know the procedure. They have either a school development committee or boards of governors that should have a meeting with parents first, and the ministry would like to see the minutes.
“No school will increase fees without me or the permanent secretary knowing.”
Heads were told to present budgets to parents to justify the charges, and a number of schools have already submitted applications and should receive authority from provincial education directors soon.