Schools require learner passes
By Clayton Shereni, correspondent for Masvingo
SCHOOLS are turning away students who are not fully paid, against a government directive prohibiting them from refusing access to learning facilities.
Investigations by NewZimbabwe.com revealed that some schools require passes from receipts for each learner to access classrooms.
In Masvingo, Francis Aphiri Primary, Mucheke High, Ndarama High and Helen McGhie are some of the schools that are turning away students.
A parent whose child is enrolled at Helen McGhie said the school has been chasing pupils since Tuesday.
“As of Tuesday, children who are not fully paid to Helen McGhie have been turned away. The teachers received a directive from the superiors of the school to refuse these children. School has always been like this in previous terms and it has become the norm,” said the parent, who spoke on condition of anonymity.
Masvingo’s provincial director of education, Shylette Mhike, said she could not comment immediately as she was out shopping.
“I can’t hear you clearly. Can you call later, right now I’m shopping,” Mhike said.
Efforts to get him to comment later were futile as his mobile phone was inaccessible.
Spokesperson for the Ministry of Primary and Secondary Education, Taungana Ndoro, said schools should engage parents for payment plans and no child should be expelled for non-payment of fees.
“Government policy is that no child should be expelled and the school should engage the parents for a payment plan,” Ndoro said.
Some schools would refuse parent payment plans.
This has left thousands of disadvantaged students stranded as they cannot access school facilities.