Parents in Bulawayo have expressed concern at the exorbitant prices for material for the Early Childhood Development(ECD) classes at most retail shops in the city.
Schools will open for the first term on January 8, with most parents lamenting the price hikes effected on school uniforms and stationery.
In an interview with CITE, Lucy Banda said she has been facing difficulties with buying the requirements of the ECD kit because of the exorbitant prices in shops.
“The school’s requirements were very expensive to me because shops were doing cross rates, as a result, it was expensive to buy in bond notes,” said Banda.
She said although the fees are reasonable, the ECD kit needs to be cut down so that parents will be able to take their children to school.
“It is not everyone who can afford both the school fees and the ECD kit, it would be best for schools to minimize the requirements in order for other parents afford to take their children to school on time,” said Banda.
Banda also advised other parents to plan early so as to lessen their burden when it comes to preparing for the opening of schools.
“As parents, we should start buying early as soon as the child secures a place so as to avoid pressure, and also start paying fees in instalments as soon as the child secures a place so that when schools open everything will be in place,” she said.
Another parent Nomalanga Ndlovu said the ECD kit is a lot for a three year old who needs basic education.
“The list has a lot of items that I do not think are necessary, the teachers need to explain the necessity of these requirements,” said Ndlovu.
She added: “If only schools could supply the requirements for us it would make it easier for parents to pay for everything, that would beat time in looking for the items in shops.”
The national ECD policy requires primary schools to offer at least two ECD classes to children between the ages of 3-5.