Mnangagwa government allows tuition fees in US dollars

The GOVERNMENT gave schools the green light to charge fees in US dollars, leading to calls for formal dollarisation, with the majority of the country’s workforce earning in Zimbabwean dollars.

This follows a public outcry among parents after schools withheld end-of-term results for thousands of students who did not pay their full tuition fees for the second term which ended finished Thursday.

Some schools were claiming unpaid fees in US dollars, arguing they had been eroded by inflation which soared to 256.9% last month from 191.65% in June.

Spokesman for the Ministry of Primary and Secondary Education, Taungana Ndoro, said schools could charge fees in US dollars to recoup running costs.

“Some parents have ignored school authorities’ reminders to pay school fees. So parents whose children’s results are withheld should go and engage school authorities and discuss the way forward,” a- he declared.

“It is justified for schools to charge the arrears of fees according to the prevailing interbank rate. Schools may charge fees in foreign currencies and accept parents’ currencies, but in accordance with the prevailing interbank rate. However, schools should not force parents to pay exclusively in foreign currency.”

A latest survey by the Zimbabwe National Statistics Agency (ZimStat) said parents and guardians could no longer afford school fees, with only 26% able to meet the education expenses of their children. children, as poverty levels in the country remain high.

Headteachers also refused to register candidates for the Zimbabwe Ordinary and Advanced School Examinations Council who had not paid their full fees.

Progressive Teachers Union of Zimbabwe president Takavafira Zhou said giving schools the green light to set fees in US dollars was a recipe for disaster for workers earning in Zimbabwean dollars.

“Since the government says it hasn’t dollarized yet, it shouldn’t allow schools to charge in foreign currency. It means the government has totally lost control of the education sector,” Zhou said.

The President of the National Union of Head Teachers of Zimbabwe, Munyaradzi Majoni, said: “It is a clear admission that the US dollar is the only practical currency.

The Consumers Council of Zimbabwe (CCZ) yesterday said a family of five now needs $281,000 a month to survive, down from $240,000 in June as the local currency plummets and commodity prices base and services are skyrocketing.

According to CCZ Acting Executive Director, Rosemary Mpofu, the food basket increased by 21.53% from June to July 2022.

“The cost of living continues to rise, as seen in the July consumer basket,” Mpofu said. “The cost of living, as measured by the CCZ’s monthly low-income urban worker basket for a family of six, fell from $240,014.45 at the end of June to $281,062.83 at the end of June. end of July 2022, which shows an increase of $41,048.

Economists have warned citizens to brace for further price hikes, with the price of bread expected to rise again after the Grain Marketing Board raised the price of wheat by 30%.

Economist Gift Mugano said: “There is a need for the government to remove distortions in the foreign exchange and gold markets by liberalizing exchange rates. For the avoidance of doubt, as long as there are distortions, it is clear that any policy prescribed around the same market will fail.

“Government must emphasize the commodity exchange as an effective vehicle for financing and marketing agricultural commodities as opposed to the current arrangement where financing and marketing of agricultural commodities is largely between the hands of the government.”

About Rodney Fletcher

Check Also

Cassville Pantry focuses on the fight against hunger

The Hunger Action fundraising campaign runs from September 7-28 September is National Hunger Month of …