Primary and Secondary Education Minister Cain Mathema has said private schools which are charging extra money for conducting online lessons or have increased their fees for Term Two without seeking approval from the government will be deregistered.
Mathema made the remarks on Saturday while addressing a media briefing in Bulawayo. He said:
What the nation has experienced recently where such school initiatives appear to be construed as the start of the second term, with schools giving deadlines to parents and guardians for the payment of unapproved fees or levies is unacceptable.
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Some high fees and levies that have been brought to my attention, including foreign currency, appear extortionist and we should not have this in education.
Section 17 of the Education Act provides for cancellation of registration by the Secretary. This is not an issue that was ever considered necessary given the cooperation that existed in the education sector.
Mathema added that some private schools charge fees and levies that are initially affordable to many but in due course, the fees and levies are hiked so much that the ministry struggles to cope with the relocation of some learners to new schools.
He further urged private schools to abide by the law and a culture of consultation rather attracting the attention of authorities by doing wrong things.
Reports indicate that Petra and Whitestone – both in Bulawayo – gave parents up to 15 May to make partial school fees payments while they wait for Government approval.
The demanded deposits of between $10 000 and $27 000.