Zimbabwe government task schools to accept livestock, farm produce and labour, as school fees from poor parents.

Zimbabwe government task schools to accept livestock, farm produce and labour, as school fees from poor parents.

The Zimbabwe government has called on schools to accept livestock or labour as school fees from parents who doesn’t have money.

This is due to the economic realities in the country.

Primary and Secondary Education Minister Dr Lazarus Dokora disclosed over weekend that school authorities should be flexible and not turn away pupils because their parents have no money to pay tuition fees.

He told Zimbabwe media, “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 of tuition fees.”

The development was further elaborated by the Permanent Secretary of the Ministry, Dr Sylvia Utete-Masango who said that payment using livestock is reserved for rural areas while those in towns and cities can pay by working for the school.

However this option raised divergent views from parents while the country’s teachers’ association called for a change in the policy.

Zimbabwe Teachers’ Association Secretary-General, John Mlilo said, “I do not think that it’s sustainable with regards to parents in urban areas … so many parents have outstanding balances.

Therefore, I am trying to imagine those 1 000-plus parents coming to work at a school … Why spend time doing manual labour at a school when they can go there to look for a good job?”

A bill has been recently tabled in parliament to direct banks to accept livestock as collateral for cash loans to informal businesses.

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