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ZIMSEC, govt insincere on exam fees payments: MP

The Zimbabwe Schools Examination Council (ZIMSEC) and the government have been accused of insincerity on the methods of payment for the November public examination fees with the deadline payment set for July 31.

While the fees are pegged in US Dollars with an option for parents to pay in the local currency, there have been reports of ZIMSEC requesting school heads to take foreign currency in order to minimise risks associated with the inflation-ravaged Zimbabwe dollar

“I rise on an issue of national interest and this concerns the issue of examination fees for the O level and A level students for the 2022 examination,” said Bikita East legislator, Johnson Madhuku.

“I remember a few weeks ago we were presented with a statement from the Deputy Minister of Primary and Secondary Education whereby he promised that the Ministry was looking into the issue with a view to revising downwards the fees charged to these students. We were very much worried that the fees were too high and were going to disadvantage some students by failing to pay the examination fees.”

He further said: “We also raised the issue that the examination fees were pegged in

USD as well as in the ZWL$. However, what is surprising is that the deadline for the payment of these examination fees is supposed to be the end of this month but we have seen and heard reports from schools whose headmasters have been called for meetings and have been instructed that the candidates have to pay in the USD. This is disturbing because the Ministry is not being sincere.”

He said the development was unfair to those who do not have access to forex.

“Now, the heads have been instructed that they have to accept fees in USD for the simple reason that if the fees are paid in the ZWL$ now, at the time of remitting the money to ZIMSEC it would have lost value because of the high inflation,” said Madhuku.

“Therefore, we feel this is very unfair, not only to the prospective candidates but even to the parents also. A lot of these parents, especially in rural areas, do not earn USD.

He said it was important for the Minister of Primary and Secondary Education Dr Evelyn Ndlovu to come back to the Parliament and explain.

“So as a matter of urgency, we are supposed to have the Hon. Minister of Primary and Secondary Education coming back to this House and tell us why they are changing goal posts to disadvantage learners,” he said.

“This is going to affect all of us here, we are parents, we have children and relatives. As I have mentioned earlier on, a lot of learners, a lot of candidates are going to be left behind against the mantra His Excellency is talking about that everybody has to be taken on board.

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