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Parents plead for reduction of exam fees

by Staff reporter
16 Feb 2024 at 04:58hrs | Views
PARENTS and guardians have implored the Zimbabwe Schools Examination Council (Zimsec) to consider reviewing downwards the June and November examination fees for Ordinary and Advanced level candidates, arguing that they were beyond the reach of many.

The parents said while they commend Zimsec's decision to maintain the fees for the past three years including subsidising candidates at public schools, the prevailing economic situation demands that the fees be reviewed downwards as most parents and guardians cannot afford them.

In an interview yesterday, the Zimbabwe Schools Development Associations and Committees (ZSDAC) national general secretary, Mr Everisto Jongwe said they feared that some parents and guardians in rural areas will not be able to raise the fees due to this year's drought.

ZSDAC is an association that  represents the interest of school development committees throughout the country.

"These fees are not affordable given that many parents are failing to pay US$20 fees per term. Parents and guardians are being asked to pay US$77 for seven subjects which is beyond them given the prevailing economic situation in the country," said Mr Jongwe.

He said Government should consider increasing its subsidy or Zimsec should reduce the fees to enable students from poor families to write the exams.

THE Zimbabwe Schools Examination Council (Zimsec) has released the June and November O'level and A'Level examination fees which will cost US$24 and US$48 respectively.

"We applaud the Government for the subsidy but as we said the fees remain too high even with the subsidy hence this request to reduce the fees. It is a fact that most rural parents depend on farming and when there is drought like this year, most parents find it difficult to raise the fees," said Mr Jongwe.

Zimsec announced that O-level candidates at public schools, local authority and not-for-profit Mission schools, will pay US$11 per subject while Government pays the balance of US$13 per subject.

Candidates from private schools, colleges and private entrants will pay a non-subsidised fee of US$24 per subject.

Zimsec said the Government will subsidise up to seven subjects at Ordinary level and a maximum of four subjects at Advanced level.

It said those who want to sit for more than the stipulated subjects will pay for the extra subjects in full.

Advanced-level candidates from public schools will pay US$22 per subject with the Government paying the balance of US$26 per subject. Private schools, colleges and private candidates will pay US$48 per subject.

"Parents and guardians are guided to pay the fees in a currency of their choice (Rand, USD, or Zimbabwean dollar). For payments in local currency, the prevailing interbank of USD to Zimbabwe dollar exchange rate as of the 13th to the 20th of March 2024 will be used," read the Zimsec statement.

Stakeholders and clients, said Zimsec, must note that Government subsidy does not apply to candidates retaking any subjects while the Basic Education Assistance Module (Beam programme does not support retake examinations.

"Candidates should have fulfilled the Continuous Assessment of Learning Activities (Cala) requirements for them to sit for the June or  November examinations. Stakeholders are encouraged to contact their respective centres for registration closing dates to avoid any inconvenience," said Zimsec.

Source - The Chronicle
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