By Pamela Shumba
Most boarding schools in Matabeleland have increased fees to between RTGS$1 200 and RTGS$1 500 a term and many parents said they are contemplating withdrawing their children because they cannot afford the fees.
The parents said school authorities in coming up with the new fees had not taken into account the prevailing economic hardships.
In interviews yesterday, parents said providing for their children for the second term that starts on May 7 is proving to be a challenge as they have to buy winter uniforms whose prices have also been increased.
Government gave schools the go ahead to raise fees after they applied to review fees upwards citing the tough operating environment characterised by increases in the prices of goods and services.
Most boarding schools including Government schools have increased fees to between RTGS$1 200 and RTGS $1 500, up from between RTGS$500 and RTGS $700.
Some of the schools that have already increased fees, have informed parents that they might be forced to meet again before schools open for another fees review.
Some private schools have asked parents to pay part of the fees in United States dollars. Day schools also increased fees by more than 100 percent.
The parents said some schools have advised them that they were monitoring the situation and will only announce the new fees just before schools open, a development which parents said will inconvenience them.
Many parents said fees demanded by schools were no longer affordable to most of them and therefore called for Government intervention.
Primary and Secondary Education Minister Professor Paul Mavima yesterday referred all questions to the ministry’s Permanent Secretary, Mrs Tumisang Thabela who could not be reached for comment yesterday. The Chronicle