Govt cuts First Term fees

Veronica Gwaze
It’s going to be one of the shortest first terms for Lower Six pupils in Zimbabwe, and Government has some guidelines to make things easier for parents and children.
Ordinary Level results were released less than a fortnight ago, and with schools closing on March 28 ahead of the Easter holidays, Lower Six pupils have a four-week first term.

Mrs Sylvia Utete-Masango, the Secretary for Primary and Secondary Education, says schools will use a pro-rata system with fees pegged against a four-week term.

“We have given a directive to use the pro rata system, we will calculate the number of weeks left in the term and so the students should pay for only those weeks.

The school fees should be calculated as standard fees divided by the number of days in a term multiplied by the number of days left,” she explained.

Primary and Secondary Education Minister Professor Paul Mavima says selection of pupils proceeding to Advanced Level started when results were released, and the process ended last Friday.

“On Tuesday, pupils should be in school and the learning process should start immediately since a lot of time has been lost already,” said Prof Mavima.

The minister says schools should devise ways for pupils to meet curriculum requirements and cover for time lost this term because of the leak of O-Level English Language Paper II in 2017.

“The ministry is advising schools to find ways for students to catch up because of the delayed results. Schools will either take up some of the weekends or take part of the holiday by making them go to school early every term, or making them stay behind when others close schools so that they catch up with the syllabus,” he said.

Prof Mavima says Government will soon introduce an electronic enrolment system, e-map, which is being used for placement of Form One pupils, at all levels so that securing school places becomes less of a burden to parents.

“Although this year they used the traditional means to find places for Advanced Level, we are considering introducing e-map at all levels because it is cost-effective and consumes less time.

“We are still in the liaising phase, but we are in the pipeline of integrating everything so that even those transferring from one school to another and even the lower levels can find a place electronically.

“We need to embrace technology to make life easy for both the learners and the schools so we are looking at a package that can provide us with all that.”

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