For the past number of weeks, we have seen various schools and colleges advise parents about school fees hike for 2020 first term/semester. Some schools have raised their fees by as much as 1000% citing inflation and the ever-rising cost of living.
Despite all this, the government through its various ministries and officials is adamant that any hike of more than 20% requires government approval. Given the level of inflation in Zimbabwe right now adjusting 3rd term fees by 20% is simply not going to suffice.
This has created a bureaucratic nightmare as the government has also revealed that they haven’t yet approved any school fees hikes! This is despite the fact that only a few days remain before schools open and parents still don’t know what they are going to pay.
We are still receiving applications from schools and we are in the process of assessing the forms so that we come up with a proper subsidy,Primary and Secondary Education ministry’s principal Director Petr Muzawazi
Ostensibly the government wants to protect parents from unwarranted and exorbitant fee hikes however they are making a bad situation worse by creating this uncertainty. This is not the only matter casting a shadow on the education sector as the government is also embroiled in a duel with teachers who are threatening to not report for work next week over pay disputes.
Be prudent prepare to pay the announced fees
No amount of government approval or disapproval is going to change the fact that the cost of living and inflation necessitate most of the hikes schools are seeking even if they appear, at a glance to be proprosterous.
A wise parent should be prepared to pay the full amount schools are asking for. Most schools unofficially have a fixed USD amount they are looking for. Usually, this is the amount they were charging as fees during the official USD era or sometimes slightly less.