The Progressive Teachers Union of Zimbabwe (PTUZ) has appealed to the Government to intervene and reduce the recently-announced Zimbabwe Schools Examination Council (ZIMSEC) examination fees.
PTUZ secretary-general Raymond Majongwe argued that the examination fees are unaffordable to the majority of parents and guardians.
According to a circular from the Ministry of Primary and Secondary Education, Grade 7 candidates will pay $4 388 while the government will pay the other $5 362, giving a total of $9 750.
Ordinary Level candidates will pay $1 620 while the government will pay $1 980 per subject, giving a total of $3 600.
Advanced Level candidates will now pay $3 240 while the government will pay $3 960, giving a total of $7 200.
In 2021, O’ Level candidates paid $742 per subject while A’ Level candidates paid $1 080 per subject.
In a letter dated 10 May 2022, addressed to the Primary and Secondary Education ministry and copied to the Office of the President and Cabinet, the Finance ministry and ZIMSEC, Majongwe said:
While in theory, the figures may look minuscule given the loss in the value of the Zim dollar, it should not make us lose sight of the egregious fact that these figures are still not affordable to the generality of the candidates and their funders.
You may be aware of the figures we produced last week, which indicate the unfortunate and shocking statistic that the ZIMSEC O’ Level candidature has been falling by steep levels since 2017, from a high of 332 473 in November 2017, to a low of 163 179 in 2021, a mind-blowing 51%.
The conclusion that can be drawn from this is that more and more learners are dropping from school as a result of endemic poverty pervading society.
Primary and Secondary Education ministry spokesperson Taungana Ndoro referred all questions from NewsDay to ZIMSEC spokesperson Nicholette Dlamini.
Dlamini said she had not seen the letter from PTUZ and that ZIMSEC has not yet set examination fees for 2022.
However, Majongwe said school heads had already ordered pupils to start paying the examination fees based on the circular of the proposed fee structure.