GOVT INCREASES EXAM FEES BY OVER 1 000%
New Exam Fee Structure is Anti-Poor and Limits Access to Education
Mr Mnangagwa’s regime continues to make life difficult for the citizens after it announced an increase of over 1000% for school examination fees.
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The latest proclamation comes at a time citizens are still reeling from the ongoing economic crisis and are experiencing the negative effects of COVID-19.
The increases are anti-poor and violate the ordinary student’s right to access basic, state-funded education – a right that is protected by section 75 of the Constitution.
Last year, Ordinary Level candidates paid $190 per subject at private institutions and $90 at public institutions while Advanced Level candidates paid $351 and $165 per subject at private and public institutions respectively.
However, the latest fee structure will see Ordinary and Advanced level students paying ZWL$1 648.00 and ZWL$2 400.00 per subject respectively. The government reported that it will cover 55% of the amount.
The purported 55% government subsidy will see O’Level candidates in public and mission schools paying ZWL $742.00 per subject while A Level student will have to pay ZWL$1 080.00 which is a drastic increase from what they paid last year. Extra-territorial candidates will pay $3 840.00 per subject.
The alleged subsidy is limited to public and mission school candidates. The move is discriminatory in that it is limited to 7 subjects at Ordinary Level and up to 3 subjects at Advanced Level only.
Ambitious students who would want to register more than 7 and 3 subjects at O Level and A level respectively will not be covered by the subsidy and have to pay the exorbitant amounts in full.
Furthermore, students are also expected to pay additional fees for practical subjects, amidst other increases.
We condemn the wanton, arbitrary fee increases as they are not accompanied by any measures to deal with wage erosion, hyperinflation, unemployment and the general economic pressures that render the cost of accessing basic education unaffordable.
The fee increases demonstrate that any suggestion that the economy is on the recovery path is a farce.
Most parents will not be able to meet these high costs, thus impeding the learners’ ability and right to access education.
This is the latest in a series of anti-poor tariff increases imposed by Mr Mnangagwa’s regime.
We call for an urgent review of these increases as well as the prompt introduction of economic policies that address the plight of the ordinary citizen in line with our People’s Agenda.
Issued by: MDC Alliance – Communications Department