Parents and guardians say they have turned to informal traders for school wear and other school materials as prices in formal shops are going up.
The Sunday Mail conducted a snap survey in Bulawayo and observed that there has been a sudden increase in prices of exercise books, rulers, mathematical instruments, plastic covers as well as clothing items, shoes, trunks and uniforms.
Most shoppers who spoke to the state-run publication implored the Government to intervene and ensure that stationery and uniform shops do not wantonly increase prices ahead of schools opening.
The survey noted that:
i). Girls’ uniforms range from US$22 to US$32 vendors were charging US$8 and US$15
ii). Boys’ from US$18 to US$33 vendors were charging US$10 and US$15
iii). A pair of girls’ school shoes costs between US$12 and US$18
iv). A pair of shoes for boys were going for between US$10 and US$15
vi). A pack of 10 – 72-page exercise books costs between US$7 and US$10 in some retail shops while vendors were charging between US$5 and US$7.
Meanwhile, the Ministry of Primary and Secondary Education has said learners who are coming from other countries will be absorbed into the system.
The ministry’s spokesperson, Taungana Ndoro said systems are in place to assess the level of learners from other countries so that they can be placed in appropriate levels or grades. He added:
That has been going on for a long time. So, the affected children from South Africa are most welcome to our sector.
Zimbabwe is likely to have an influx of returnees from South Africa following the June 2023 deadline for holders of Zimbabwe Exemption Permits (ZEP).