Mabhikwa High School learners turned away over outstanding fees

Mabhikwa High School in Lupane has reportedly turned away learners due to non-payment of tuition fees, CITE has established.

This is despite a long-standing government policy that learners should not be turned away from school for failing to pay school fees which many schools have continued to defy.

A number of learners most of whom are boarders at the school were turned away with some of the parents saying efforts to engage the school administration did not yield any positive results.

The school fees at the school are pegged at ZWL$38 000 per term.

Parents who spoke to CITE said it was unfair to turn away the learners as they had spent a long time at home due to the Covid-19 prolonged school closure.

“Our children were turned away last week, we tried to negotiate with the school authorities but they couldn’t hear our pleas,” said one parent  

“They told us that we had to pay the remaining balance, only to see children back at home last week. We had asked for an extension at least to pay the remaining balance by month-end but they have already sent back our children.”

Another parent added that the school authorities should have dealt with parents not the learners.

“This is painful as our children are at home while others are learning. They told us they want children who paid full school fees only,” said the parent.

“Month-end is still far, we don’t know where we are going to get the money. I thought I was going to pay the remaining balance in instalments but again they don’t want that situation. I earn around ZWL$18 000 and the balance ranges around ZWL$26 000 while others owe about ZWL$30 000, they should deal with us parents.”

Efforts to get a comment from the school were fruitless as the school phone rang unanswered.

The Director of Information and Advocacy in the Ministry of Primary and Secondary Education, Taungana Ndoro said it is illegal to turn away learners.

“Parents need to report the matter to our district office,” said Ndoro.

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