By A Correspondent- The government has ordered private schools that increased fees without seeking approval to reimburse parents and guardians.
In a statement on Thursday, the permanent secretary in the Ministry of Primary and Secondary Education, Tumisang Thabela, warned those behind the illegal hikes that they risk being jailed.
This comes after some private schools increased fees by up to 100 per cent and most have been demanding cash up front, refusing payment terms in settling the fees.
No school, private, council or Government-run, is allowed to increase school fees without the approval of the permanent secretary in the Ministry of Primary and Secondary Education.
Thabela said the Education Act states that fees or levies being charged by non-governmental schools should be approved by the secretary.
She said according to the Act, offenders shall be fined or jailed for a period not exceeding six months or be liable to both a fine and imprisonment. Thabela said:
Schools that had charged unapproved fees and levies should revert back to approved fees and levies and reimburse parents accordingly.
The Ministry of Primary and Secondary Education continues to strive to provide quality, relevant, inclusive, equitable and wholesome education for all Zimbabweans.
She also said when seeking approval for increasing fees, the increment must be justified. She added:
The permanent secretary shall not approve any increase of fees or levies sought in respect of the next term of the non-Government schools unless the increase of such fees and levies are justified by reference to some basis other than the application of the consumer price index, and the proposal to increase fees or levies has been approved by a majority of the parents at a meeting of the School Parents Assembly attended by not less than twenty per cent of the parents.