- "LEAD demands that Zimsec and the Minister of Primary and Secondary Education must revisit these examination fees and reduce them to at least $200 a subject which is at least reasonable so that every student is afforded their constitutional right to education..." says LEAD through its information secretary Rosline Ncube.
By Nompumelelo Sibanda
THE opposition Labour Economists & Afrikan Democrats (LEAD) has expressed “great disdain” over the examination fees which were peggedd by Zimsec for 2021 Ordinary and Advanced level examinations.
O-Level examination fees this year are pegged at $742 per subject in formal schools and $1648 non formal, private schools and colleges. Advanced Level examinations are pegged at $1080 for formal schools and $2400 non formal, private schools and colleges.
The Linda Masarira-led LEAD says the fees are exorbitant considering the economy has been in one level of lockdown or another for the past fifteen months and parents and guardians are hardly scrapping by.
“At a time when the whole world is facing the Covid 19 pandemic, we would have expected the Ministry of Primary and Secondary education to have taken action in ensuring that every students right to education as enshrined in section 75 of the constitution of Zimbabwe,” LEAD says in a statement seen by the Zimbabwe Voice and signed by Rosline Ncube, the party’s secretary for information and publicity.
“For a country that has been on lockdown since 2020 to March 2021 these examination fees are absurd and shows how our government and zimsec are out of touch with the real struggles that Ordinary Zimbabweans are facing.”
The opposition party proposes that the subject fee be reviewed downwards to $200 (about US$1,50) per subject for O-Level and double that for the A-Level candidates.
“LEAD demands that Zimsec and the Minister of Primary and Secondary Education must revisit these examination fees and reduce them to at least $200 a subject which is at least reasonable so that every student is afforded their constitutional right to education.
“Most Zimbabweans are suffering, they can not even afford two decent meals a day, let alone pay examination fees for eight subjects for one child at this rate.
“As if the exorbitant fees are not enough, schools have been demanding school fees to be cleared for students to register for O and A level examinations. Who have we become as a people?”
Government must consider the plight of children who live in rural areas whose parents are not working and cannot afford to pay one subject, says Ncube.
According to the latest World Bank statistics, 67% of the population of Zimbabwe lives in rural areas whilst the remaining 33% in urban areas.
Ncube adds: “Most of the school going children are in the rural areas and their future is being stolen away from them. WE recommend for the reduction of examination fees to $200 for ordinary level examination fees and $400 for Advanced level examination fees so that all students will be able to write their examinations.
“Section 56 of the constitution of Zimbabwe is clear about non discrimination. LEAD will not sit back and watch underprivileged children who live in rural, peri-urban and farming areas being discriminated because of class society, poverty or lack of funds.
“The future of Zimbabwe lies on the hands of these children, let us protect their right to education. As we know that education imparts knowledge to the children and knowledge is power. Every child has got right to education without discrimination. These children are the leaders of tomorrow.”
Meanwhile, Government, through the Department of Civil Registry is advising the public that it will be issuing ID’s to candidates intending to sit for the General Certificate in Education (GCE) Ordinary and Advanced Level in the November 2021 Examinations.
The candidates intending to sit for the GCE Ordinary and Advanced Level examinations but do not possess ID’s which are required for registration to visit the nearest Civil Registry Offices countrywide from Saturday 26 June to Sunday 27 June 2021 between 0800-1500hrs. – Zimbabwe Voice ■