Exam fee hike unfair, exclusionary: MDC Alliance

The latest examination fee hike, will make life difficult for students and possibly exclude others from writing, says MDC Alliance, after the government announced an increase in school examination fees by more than 1000 percent.

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

However, the latest fee structure will see O and A level students paying ZWL$1 648 and ZWL$2 400 per subject respectively.

“The government of Zimbabwe continues to make life difficult for the citizens after it announced the more than 1000 percent school examination fee increase. The latest proclamation comes at a time citizens are still experiencing the negative effects of Covid-19,” said MDC Alliance’s communication department.

The deadline for normal entries is July 9, 2021 and the deadline for late entries is July 30, 2021.

MDC Alliance highlighted the government was yet to meet the civil servants’ living wage demands but was imposing financial pressure on the people they were supposed to serve.

“The government reported that it will cover 55 percent of the amount but this purported government subsidy will see O’ Level candidates in public and mission schools paying ZWL$742 per subject while A’ Level student will have to fork out ZWL$1 080, which is still more compared to what they paid last year,” said the oppositional party.

Extra-territorial candidates are to pay $3 840 per subject while the subsidy is limited to public and mission school candidates.

“The move is discriminatory in that it is limited to seven subjects at O’ Level and up to three subjects at A’ Level only,” said the MDC Alliance.

The party noted ‘ambitious’ students who would want to register more than seven and three subjects at O’ Level and A’ Level respectively “will not be covered by the subsidy but have to pay the exorbitant amounts in full.”

MDC Alliance condemned the “wanton arbitrary fee increases,” arguing they are not accompanied by any measures to deal with wage erosion, hyperinflation, unemployment and the general economic pressures that render the cost of accessing basic education unaffordable.

“The fee increase demonstrates that any suggestion that the economy is on the recovery is a farce. Most parents will be unable to meet these high costs thus impeding the learners’ ability and right to access education. This is the latest in a series of anti-poor tariff increases imposed by Mr Mnangagwa’s regime,” said the oppositional party.

“We call for an urgent review of these increases as well as the prompt introduction of economic policies that address the plight of the ordinary citizen in line with our People’s Agenda.

Furthermore, O’ Level students are also expected to pay additional fees for the following practical subjects: ZWL$4 002 for Physical Education, Sports and Mass Display, ZWL$4 052 for Building Technology and Design, ZWL$4 054 for Food Technology and Design, ZWL$4 056 Home Management and Design and ZWL$4 063 Theatre Arts.

For amendments and late registration, the fees will be as follows:Change of a Subject or option ZWL$775 while addition of a new subject will be ZWL$1 978.

Late entry fee is pegged at ZWL$1 978.

A’ Level Fees will see candidates in Public Schools (formal) pay ZWL$1 080, candidates in Public Schools (non-formal) ZWL$2 400, Candidates in Private Schools and Colleges – ZWL$2 400, Communication Skills in Public Schools (formal) ZWL$994, Communication Skills in Private Schools Colleges and non-formal ZWL$2 208  while Extraterritorial candidates ZWL$4 896.

A’ Level candidates will pay additional fees for the following practical subjects:

ZWL$6 026 for Theatre Arts, ZWL$6 030 for Biology, ZWL$6 036 for Food Technology and Design, ZWL$6  038 for Home Management and Design, ZWL$6 070 for Physical Education, Sports and Mass Displays and ZWL$6 080 Sports Science and Technology

The additional fees are as follows: Candidates in public schools (formal) will have to pay an additional ZWL$1 080.00 per subject and Candidates in private schools and colleges ZWL$2 400.00 per subject.

For amendments and late registration, the fees will be as follows: Change of subject or option ZWL$1 104, the addition of a new subject ZWL$2 952.

Late entry will be ZWL$2 952 while a late entry fee for Communication Skills will be ZWL$2 496.

Additional fees per subject will cost ZWL$2 952

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