Primary and Secondary School Minister Evelyn Ndlovu told the Senate yesterday that though schools were allowed to peg fees in United States dollars, payment could be in US dollars for those with foreign currency or in Zimbabwe dollars for those without.
She was responding to a question from Senator Tichinani Mavatera who wanted to know what the ministry was doing to schools that charged part of the fees in US dollar and part in the local currency but refused to accept local currency.
“I hear the Hon. Senator, illegality is a challenge in this country, I am sure and we are all aware that the issue of the black market; we have been trying as Government to address that issue but schools continue to break the law,” the minister said.
“What we have done is that we have engaged the Anti-Corruption Commission to track all those that are demanding foreign currency payments. We just pray that the Anti-Corruption Commission will do its part to assist us. Mr. President, I think you are aware that as government, we are in trouble in terms of the black market. It is similar to what is happening in schools and I call upon all our people to resist these people who break the law and report them to the Anti-Corruption Commission.”
Q & A:
HON. SEN. DR. MAVETERA: Thank you Mr. President. My question is directed to the Minister of Primary and Secondary Education. What is the Government position on payment of fees which is currently obtaining in our schools? With the opening of schools, most schools have divided school fees payment in local currency and foreign currency. A number of parents may try the local currency portion but fail to get the foreign currency portion because it is not easy to get foreign currency on the official market and they are not remunerated enough to go to the parallel market where it is almost two to three times the official rate. Schools are refusing to accept those students, so what is Government policy regarding that? I thank you.
THE TEMPORARY PRESIDENT OF SENATE: She wrote a message to say wherever she is, she will be on virtual so Hon. Senators can ask questions. Also Hon. M. Ndlovu had said he is on virtual, but now he is in the Senate at least this is good.
THE MINISTER OF PRIMARY AND SECONDARY EDUCATION (HON. E. NDLOVU): Thank you Mr. President. Although I am not feeling well, I can respond. The policy is very clear that the parents who have got the foreign currency can pay in foreign currency and those with local currency can pay in that currency. That is Government’s position. We see on social media; we are worried that some schools have decided to come up with their own policy which is not Government policy. We call upon all parents and school heads to make sure that they accept payments in either foreign currency or local currency. I thank you.
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