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Zim government resorts to old examination fees

Zimbabwe's Primary and Secondary Education minister Cain Mathema, has rescinded the recently announced 2020 examination fees.

Mathema said new examination fees will be announced after further consultations with various stakeholders.

"While the examination fees that were published are based on the actual cost of each examination, the Ministry of Primary and Secondary Education would like to inform parents and guardians that following further representations, the recently released circular on the 2020 examination fees has been cancelled with immediate effect.

New fees will be announced after further consultations have been made with all the relevant stakeholders.

Parents and guardians are therefore advised to continue paying the old fees approved in 2015. Please be advised that the deadlines for examination fees payment remain the same," said the minister.

Civil societies such as Amalgamated Rural Teachers Union of Zimbabwe (Artuz) and the Movement for Democratic Change - Alliance (MDC-A) welcomed the move.

"The government of Zimbabwe has bowed down to  our demand of scrapping the recently announced Zimsec school fees in the face of austerity.
We welcome the move as it means a win for our fight for pro-poor education. This will allow our students mainly in poor rural areas to sit for exams.

An O Level student was going to pay ZW$1 520 for eight subjects. This was out of reach for most of our students in rural areas.

Section 75 mandates the government to ensure a provision of basic education. We call upon the government to be more vigilant in upholding this right.
It should avoid shocking the nation as it can be shocked in turn by the angered masses," said Obert Masarure, president of Artuz.

Artuz's national spokesperson Nation Mudzitirwa, further added that Artuz wanted a total removal of examination registration fees.

"We are looking forward to a total removal of registration fees, it is the duty of the government to provide education to its people," said Mudzitirwa.

MDC-A's secretary for Education, Sports, and Culture, Fadzai Mahere, concurred with Artuz, "the increase in exam fees must be unconditionally reversed. No new fees must be announced.

The increases are anti-poor and violate the right to education, we will continue to campaign for no increment to exam fees," said Mahere.

Prior to yesterday's announcement, examination fees had been increased to ZW$190 from ZW$15 for Ordinary Level candidates and ZW$351 from ZW$26 for Advanced Level candidates.

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Chuka (Webby) Aniemeka

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