Schools, parents face off in USD fees payment

By Memory Chamisa

PARENTS have expressed concern over some schools which are exclusively demanding fees payment in United States Dollars despite government saying such a move is illegal.

A day after schools opened for the third term, parents have raised concern on some schools which are demanding exclusive payment of fees in United States dollars.

“This is just not fair, what is funny is they demand payment in USD but then they end up taking that money for their personal use and swipe in RTGS instead,” said a concerned parent.

“We need the government to come in and put order because the situation is just out of hand, you pay the fees in USD but the teacher is not available for lessons, you retaliate by paying in RTGS and you’re made to pay for extra lessons and teachers incentive,” noted another.

Ministry of Primary and Secondary Education Spokesperson Mr Taungana Ndoro warned schools that are defying government’s policy on fees payment. 

“We have been receiving reports of some rogue schools that are charging school fees exclusively in US$ and even refusing payment in RTGS at the prevailing interbank rate. Government policy clearly states that payment can be made in either USD or RTGS at the prevailing interbank bank rate. Those that are demanding exclusive US$ payment must know it’s a criminal offence that warrants an arrest,” he warned.

Mr Ndoro also reiterated that schools cannot increase fees without the approval of the ministry.

“The ministry is also aware of schools that are saying if parents pay in RTGS there is going to be a top up midterm. School authorities cannot simply call for a top up without the approval of the ministry. It is illegal and if that happens parents need to report to the ministry so that the school is brought to book,” he added.

Schools opened this Monday for the third term, with some students being denied entrance because of non-payment of fees which is in defiance of government policy which states that no child should be sent away for non-payment of school fees.