Primary and Secondary Education Minister Dr Lazarus Dokora has made a dramatic u-turn saying no parent will take their animals to school and instead he meant parents could sell livestock elsewhere to raise school fees.
Only last week Dokora was quoted by the state media saying parents who could not raise tuition fees for children could offer livestock in lieu of payment or do chores.
“Our schools have to be flexible and ensure those who do not have money to pay fees can work. For example, if there is a builder in the community, he/she must be given that opportunity to work as a form of payment for tuition fees.
“On the issue of livestock, the community has to arrange a market where everyone participates; from the school authorities, local leadership and parents themselves to avoid parents being duped,” Dokora was quoted as saying.
But with the policy being the butt of jokes at home and abroad Dokora appeared to backtrack claiming he had not meant parents would have to drag goats and other livestock to schools as payment for fees but that they could sell them elsewhere to raise the fees.
“So, the parents would sell their cattle, goats and then take the cash to school and that is what we are saying.
“They must create markets and arrange with local authorities to sell those goats or cattle. Our schools are not the markets, but local authorities can organise for such provisions.”