By Dumisani Nyoni
Bulawayo, September 06, 2016 – SCHOOLS are opening for the third term this Tuesday with parents saying they are failing raise money for school fees.
This comes at a time the government was failing to pay civil servants their salaries on time and banks limiting cash withdrawals.
Parents told RadioVOP on Monday that the situation was dire and they were failing to raise school fees for their children.
“The situation is bad out there. As I speak, my child is not going to school tomorrow (Tuesday) as I failed to raise his school fees. The school authorities are barring them from boarding their buses if they haven’t paid their fees in full,” said Sibonginkosi Mlangeni.
Another parent, Nothando Tshuma, said she lost her job recently and was so stressed that her children will end up dropping out of school.
“It’s so hard for me especially given that I am single mother. I lost my job recently and I don’t even know how I will handle the situation. Schools are demanding fees upfront yet there is no money in the country. I fear for the worst that my children will end up dropping from school,” she said.
Parents said education in Zimbabwe was becoming a luxury.
They implored the government to intervene and make education accessible to all.
A 2015 survey conducted by the Poverty Reduction Forum (PRF) on Zimbabwean households revealed that about 75% of households, who participated in the study said they were likely to be unable to pay school fees for the third term last year, as the economic situation deteriorated.
The survey said the rate of loss of economic opportunities in the urban towns was further accelerating the inaccessibility of social services such as education.
This was attributed to the continued floundering poverty levels to failure of the ruling party’s economic blueprint, the Zimbabwe Agenda for Sustainable Social and Economic Transformation (ZimAsset) to produce the desired results to eradicate poverty.