Well never be able to pay say rural parents

coltart_davidHARARE - Parents have expressed mixed feelings on the decision by the Ministry of Education Sports and Culture to extend loans to students who failed to register for November 2009 public examinations. (Pictured: David Coltart)

Maidei Chibvongodze, a parent from Harares Mufakose suburb said, I welcome the latest announcement by government. At least my two children who are seating for Ordinary and Advanced level can now have the hope to sit for their final examinations. I had failed to raise the money for the fees. I am a widow and not gainfully employed.

She said it would be a mammoth task for her to raise the required fees by January 2010.

David Nyariri from Chiweshe said the announcement was welcome but still discriminatory to rural students whose parents do not have any meaningful source of income.

Minister Coltarts announcement is a reprieve to most parents but I feel the decision is still discriminatory. Most rural families are failing to raise a dollar to pay for maize meal at local grinding mills. They have to do butter trade with the millers. One has to carry an extra gallon as payment for a bucket of grain to be processed at the grinding mill. How then do you expect such people to raise US$60 for the payment of six or three subjects for Ordinary and A level? Nyariri said.

Fears are also that the maximum of six subjects per student applying for government assistance would disadvantage brilliant pupils who would have liked to write eight or 10 subjects of their choice.

The Minister of Education Sport and Culture, David Coltart, announced on Thursday that the deadline for the 2009 public examinations was now set for Friday October 16 and prospective students could make arrangements to pay exam fees on a loan basis.

He said those registering from now would make monthly payments up to January 31, 2010.

Over 70 percent of prospective candidates had failed to raise the US$10 and US$20 per subject for Ordinary and Advanced Level by 22nd of September which had been set as the deadline for registration.

Teachers unions strongly criticized governments insistence on closing out prospective students who had failed to register, and a significant number of students had stopped attending classes after the September deadline with no hope of writing exams.

Once an example in Africa with an estimated 80% literacy rate, Zimbabwes education is in despair following years of economic meltdown under the corrupt and oppressive Zanu (PF) regime.

Post published in: News

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *