Goverment wields cane on errant headmasters

by Sunday News Online | Sunday, Sep 16, 2018 | 3000 views
Minister Paul Mavima

Minister Paul Mavima

Belinda Moyo, Sunday News Reporter
THE Government says it is going to institute disciplinary measures on school heads sanctioning the expulsion of pupils for not paying fees amid reports that a number of schools have recently been defying the Government directive with regards payment of fees.

It emerged last week that while some schools were sending pupils home those that did not do so resorted to punitive measures of sitting pupils who haven’t paid in a hall while others were in class.

In an interview with Sunday News, the Minister of Primary and Secondary Education Professor Paul Mavima said Government was going to be heavy handed in dealing with school heads who were defying the Government directive.

He said disciplinary action would be taken on schools that trample on Government policy with reckless abandon adding that the era of empty threats was long gone.

“Disciplinary action will be taken out on schools found paying no attention to the Government policy on excluding pupils from classes for school feels. As a ministry we are very concerned about schools that disregard the Government directive instructing schools not to send away pupils for not paying school fees.

“We have not yet received all the specific names of schools that are doing so. We therefore appeal to the public not to protect such schools but they should come forward and report because schools are aware of the Government policy. They are aware that nothing has changed because we did not communicate any changes. They are simply testing our patience,” he said.

In Bulawayo pupils from a number of schools were either sent home or out of classrooms as punishment for not paying school fees .

However, the policy, the minister said, does not mean that parents should no longer pay fees. He said schools should engage parents and work on payment plans towards their children’s school fees.

“Schools should engage parents and draw payment plans for their children’s school fees. Parents should take responsibility towards their children’s education and so if it means they should be taken to court for not paying school fees so be it, instead of excluded children from classes because of their parents’ faults,” said Prof Mavima.

Minister Mavima said the culture of defiance should stop, spelling out that the new Government was serious about ensuring adherence to laid down policies.

He said those that continue to dare the Government should be prepared to face the music and would have no one but themselves to blame.

He reiterated that the contract of paying fees was between the parent or guardian and the school authorities and not the child, adding that education was one of the rights that must be enjoyed by all Zimbabwean children regardless of one’s social status.

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  • The Observer

    The policy on whether pupils should pay or not, needs this popular government to be succinctly clear not to hide under this cloud of confusion. Heads of schools are used as tools to venerate anger of a failed state that continuously move on the disillusioned trajectory pathway. How many of these pompously disillusioned ministers have children in these poorly resourced institutions?? Its a fact that these ministers loot government’s resources to send their children to foreign learning institutions as much as seeking medical assistance/facilities and engaging into business deals. It’s good that the rural electorate innocently votes with blind mentality. The only long lasting solution is to employ parents to pay fees and taxes like the situation we experienced during the colonial era, not this minister’s confusion!!!!

  • Jonso

    Open Question To The Minister
    Minister Paul Mavima.

    Thank you for addressing that matter Minister. It has been worrying us so much to see this kind of behaviour in our schools. Some heads appear to operate above the law. However, i would like to take this opportunity to ask about one thing which worries me a lot. It is the issue of the purchase of school buses. Most urban schools have school buses purchased buy parents.

    My question Minister is, is it legal for parents to buy school property which finally remains as a school asset, such as buses? And when the same parents purchase the school bus, there is no benefit to the children boarding the same bus, on some occasions the fare becomes the same as of those charged by registered kombis. So i will repeat my question. Should parents be forced to procure school buses?

    My second question is, is it compulsory to every child to contribute towards this bus. I am looking at a situation whereby the parent is struggling to pay school fees, and later to give him the burden of the school bus which remains as the school property. This same child, when he or she sits for the o’level exams, the same school denies with the results because the child is owing bus contributions. Is this right Minister?

    I would be glad to see this matter further explained by your ministry. Congratulations for your new position.

    • zibulo

      Go on and pretend its a new Govt/Regime, and that you are also a New Citizen in Zim ,and that the new Minister whom you congratulate has never been a part of the same evil Government which demands fees from Vendor parents who has children going to the same schools as its Civil Servant’s children who are on full time jobs. This Govt does not differentiate at all . It even demands that unemployed rural folk pay/sell goats, etc to pay fees. Whilst the Govt officials steal from the Public Purse instead of investing it in free education in these hard times brought about by them . Your minister says he has not received names of schools, relying on rumors and he speaks here on Rumors , a Minister . In colonial Rhodesia education was available for all with Govt subsiding fees, paying for poor children after involving Social Welfare offices, offered free glass of milk to grades 1 to 3 at primary schools, good quality education such that at Grade Seven we had teachers and Headmasters, builders who built all the old Townships the country over whose walls still stand to date,built the cities and all the old roads and bridges which these guys left to deteriorate and yet became millionaires. You congratulate a person deployed by the same people who were Ministers and are now at Jongwe House, why do you expect new things?

      • Jonso

        Very emotional indeed. Emotions make us loose focus. My problem is about school buses. And i don’t seem to see any one sentence relating to my topic. However, i would love to give you one verse, and i m not sure if it will make sense to you.
        Isaiah 66:9 New International Version (NIV)
        9 Do I bring to the moment of birth
        and not give delivery?” says the Lord.
        “Do I close up the womb
        when I bring to delivery?” says your God.

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