Subsidise boarding fees, union implores government
The Amalgamated Rural Teachers Union Zimbabwe (ARTUZ) has called on government to subsidise boarding fees following an outcry from parents who are struggling to pay tuition fees.
Boarding schools normally charge exorbitant tuition fees as they cater for accommodation, food and other logistical needs for learners.
ARTUZ said their call for subsidies comes against the growing economic hardships and dwindling learning conditions that are experienced by learners in boarding schools.
The union`s spokesperson, Choose Kasongo, told CITE that some of the government owned boarding schools were in a deplorable state.
“Expecting more fees from them is akin to squeezing water from a rock. The term is moving towards closure and government should chip in to relieve the overburdened schools and parents,” he noted.
Kasongo said ARTUZ was imploring all schools heads and School Development Committees (SDCs) to forward such challenges to the government for immediate relief.
“As a Union we maintain our noble stance of fighting for a pro-poor education. The government authored the obtaining economic crisis and must swiftly provide remedy. The boarding fees crisis is synonymous with the drug shortage in hospitals. Government should clean its mess,” said the spokesperson.
According to Kasongo, Provincial Education Director for Manicaland, Edward Shumba, already confirmed requests from five boarding school of which two of them are Marange High and Mutare Girls High.
“The call by ARTUZ is in accordance with the government adamant position of maintaining that RTGS and bond are trading at par value with the American dollar,” he said.
Meanwhile, government debt to schools for the Basic Education Assistance Module (BEAM) now stands at $82million in unpaid fees pupils under the scheme since 2014.
For 2018, the government said it required an additional $33 million to pay for tuition fees for the underprivileged children.