In an interview with The Chronicle yesterday, Matabeleland South acting provincial education director Mr Lifias Masukume confirmed some schools had approached his office requesting to have part of the fees paid in the form of groceries.
The groceries list includes, among other foodstuffs, cooking oil, sugar beans, rice and sugar. The Chronicle could not independently verify the quantities the schools are demanding. Said Masukume:
Yes, they are waiting for that response. We are hoping that the request will be approved before schools open. Schools have given reasons why they want part of the fees to be paid in the form of groceries. Some schools said they had agreed with parents to provide groceries instead of hiking fees.
Some of the schools that are demanding groceries are Usher High School and Manama High School in Matabeleland South province. In Matabeleland North, the acting PED Mr Jabulani Mpofu said his province is largely rural and has not received many applications for fees hikes. Primary and Secondary Education Deputy Minister Edgar Moyo said parents should pay what they paid last term as schools await a decision from Government on a new fees structure.