Budget surplus: Use that money to pay exam fees

AMALGAMATED Rural Teachers Union of Zimbabwe (ARTUZ) has implored the Ministry of Finance and Economic Development to use the budget surplus to settle the examination fees for all 2021 candidates.

Early this June while presenting the Treasury Quarterly Bulletin, Prof  Ncube claimed Zimbabwe had recorded a whopping ZWL$9.8 billion budget surplus during the first quarter of 2021.

He attributed the budget surplus to deep economic reforms implemented by the finance ministry.

It is from this background that motivated ARTUZ to prepare an invoice of examination fees required by this year’s candidates after the government increased school examination fees by more than 1000 percent.

Under the latest fee structure, Ordinary Level and Advanced Level (A’ Level) candidates will pay ZWL$1 648 and ZWL$2 400 per subject respectively.

Last year, O’ Level candidates paid ZWL$190 per subject at private institutions and ZWL$90 at public institutions while A’ Level candidates paid ZWL$351 and ZWL$165 per subject at private and public institutions respectively.

In an interview with CITE, ARTUZ National President, Obert Masaraure, said due to the examination fee hike, a majority of candidates risked failing to sit for exams.

“50 percent of our candidates risk failing to sit for exams if the government doesn’t pay up. The government is mandated to pay as per Section 75 of the constitution and (President Emmerson)  Mnangagwa’s government pledged free education,” he said.

“We, therefore, have prepared an invoice for the Finance Minister to settle examination fees for 2021 candidates. With our budget surplus and improved revenue flow, we can foot this bill as a nation. Professor Ncube must pay to save our education in Zimbabwe.”

Masaraure noted ARTUZ had sent the invoice compiled using the learner statistics from 2020 to the finance minister’s office.

“This is the total number of students using statistics from 2020. The government has a mandate to fund basic education for all and Prof Ncube will definitely be forced to attend to our demands,” he said.

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