Emmanuel Kafe and Veronica Gwaze
Some schools were granted permission to increase school fees as the prices of school uniforms shot up in recent weeks.
A snap survey by The Sunday Mail Society last week revealed that some of the leading retailers in Harare had increased the prices of school uniforms by between 35 and 40 percent.
A standard full set of school uniform for a Grade One pupil is costing, on average, US$110 whilst the prices for those enrolling for Form One is going for as much US$120 for boys and US$125 for girls.
A short and shirt for a Grade One pupil now cost US$25 up from US$18, (dress US$24 up from US$18), jersey US$22 up from US$15, ankle socks remained at US$3, shoes US$20 up from US$16, school bags are at US$18.
The price of neck ties were increased by a dollar from US$9 to up from US$10.
On average, hats are being sold for US$10.
For those enrolling for Form One, shoes now cost US$20 up from US$16, whilst a shirt and trouser now costs US$25, up from US$15.
Blazers now cost US$58 up from US$35, with hats going for US$11 up from US$6.
Socks shot up from US$4 up from US$3 and stripped tie is selling for US$9 up from US$5.
Parents who spoke to The Sunday Mail Society expressed concern at the price increases.
“Many of us have resorted to buying uniforms from street vendors who are charging low prices. Although the prices are a bit cheaper, they are, however, of inferior quality,” said Blessing Nyoni, one of the many parents who were involved in a last-minute uniform-buying spree.
Meanwhile, some Government schools were recently granted permission to increase school fees, meaning some parents will have to fork out more this term.
Speaking to The Sunday Mail Society, Dr Sylvia Utete-Masango, the Secretary for Primary and Secondary Education, said her ministry had given permission to some schools to increase school fees.
“We had applications for the increase in school fees. Some of the requests were accepted whilst others were declined. The schools must justify the need to increase the fees, otherwise their requests will be turned down,” added Dr Utete-Masango.
Dr Utete-Masango warned school authorities to desist from forcing parents to buy uniforms from the schools.
“The Government is clear on that, no school should force parents to buy uniforms from them. Parents are free to buy from wherever they want,” concluded Dr Utete-Masango.
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