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Zacc goes after schools refusing local currency

by Staff reporter
18 Sep 2022 at 16:51hrs | Views
THE Government has advised parents to report schools that are refusing fees in local currency to the Zimbabwe Anti-Corruption Commission (Zacc), saying doing so was a breach of the learners' constitutional right to education and was tantamount to reversing the gains made in stabilising the economy.

Minister of Primary and Secondary Education Dr Evelyn Ndlovu told Sunday News that it was illegal for schools to demand school fees payment exclusively in foreign currency. She said they have received reports of schools demanding that 50 percent of school fees be paid in local currency and the other 50 percent in foreign currency while refusing exclusive payment in local currency.

"Demanding fees exclusively in forex is illegal. Parents should be given an option of paying in local currency at the prevailing bank rate. That is the Government's position. There are errant schools, however, and we have engaged the Anti-Corruption Commission to track all those that are demanding foreign currency payments and refusing local currency. The Government is putting measures to stabilise the economy and deal with the black market and we can't have schools promoting that which the Government is fighting. I call upon all our people to resist such and report the defiant schools to the Anti-Corruption Commission. I think the commission can assist us," said Dr Ndlovu.

Zacc spokesperson Commissioner John Makamure said they were ready to assist under the instruction of the Minister of Primary and Secondary Education and called on the affected parents to report such cases.

"We call upon the affected persons to report to Zacc, once we receive these reports, we decide on the appropriate action to be taken against the schools. If there is a need, refer the cases further, after deliberating on them," he said.

Commissioner Makamure  urged the parents to expose such malpractices and advise the ministry so that action could be taken.

"We cannot visit the schools ourselves to check which ones are those, we wait for reports and we then investigate the named schools and take appropriate action," he said.

There has been an outcry over schools that are refusing to accept local currency for school fees and levies. Some schools announced that 50 percent of the school fees was to be paid in local currency and the other half in United States dollars. However, some parents have been failing to raise the USD component and schools are refusing to bend.

Mrs Nikky Maphosa whose son attends a local primary school said she was unable to meet the school's demands as she is remunerated in local currency.

"I am paid in local currency and all I can do is pay in local currency. It is expensive for me to secure the USD and the schools are adamant, they want the other half in USD. So, we are stuck on what to do because I can't go and buy forex on the black market to pay school fees," said Mrs Maphosa.

However, Dr Ndlovu said the policy was clear that parents were not mandated to pay the foreign currency if they do not have it.

Source - The Sunday News