Things were bad in 2019 but there is no denying the fact that high as it may have been, continuing to charge the same fees as those of the third term in 2019 will not work. A lot of schools have sent out communications to parents announcing massive school fees hike of as high as 1 000%. This has prompted an outcry from parents resulting in the government stepping in.
According to the government, all schools seeking a school fees hike of more than 20% have to get government approval. The problem, however, is that despite schools applying for approval the government is dragging its feet and thus far none of the applications has been processed.
The government has also come out with guns blazing calling most hikes unjustified.
We are not playing on this one. Any school heads who hike fees without authorisation will be fired and we are very serious on this issue.
Fees have to go up
Consider boarding schools that have to cater to the everyday needs of their students. It is ridiculous to ask them to charge the same fees as last term. It is unsustainable as they will not be able to meet the cost. If not now eventually at some point students will be sent home and schools will be forced to close.
What is needed is for cooler heads to prevail from both the government and school sides. The government should come up with a mechanism to allow schools to determine sustainable and fair fees without pandering to the blind calls of outrage by parents. An obvious method would involve the use of USD base that is adjusted at prevailing rates. This is something the government is loath to do given its stubborn insistence that everyone, except them, should use Zim dollars.