ZIMSEC clears air on exam fees, dates

By ZBC Reporters

The Zimbabwe School Examinations Council (ZIMSEC) says examination fees can now be paid in United States dollars after the enactment of legislation that entrenched the multi-currency system.

ZIMSEC Public Relations Manager, Nicky Dlamini said, “We had a shift in the monetary policy dimension after pronouncements of new measures by the Minister of Finance. It was the shift of the monetary policy and also applications from schools and other examination centres seeking to be allowed to collect payments in foreign currency. Registration is currently running and those paying forex can pay now.”

However, Primary and Secondary Education Director Communication and Advocacy, Mr Taungana Ndoro warned schools that they should remit the currency they receive and not convert it to local currency, while also clarifying that parents are free to pay in the currency of their choice.

“Any currency that the parent is comfortable paying with is acceptable and schools must remit to ZIMSEC the currency that would have been paid by the parent. It is not allowed for schools to receive payment in USD and remit in local currency. We are on high alert of such cases,” he noted.

Government is subsidising examination fees by 55 percent for candidates in public and local authority schools as well as non-profit making mission schools, while all candidates in private schools and colleges as well as private candidates will pay the full cost of the examination fees.

ZIMSEC’s announcement comes as parents and guardians whose children will be sitting for public examinations this year are demanded redress regarding what they describe as exorbitant examination fees, while others feel is it difficult to plan with an unknown exchange rate for the Zimbabwe dollar option.

The parents are not amused that they will have to wait for a short window period to pay examination fees in local currency.

Those who spoke to ZBC News said despite the fact that the exam fees are beyond the reach of many in United States dollars, the Zimbabwe dollar option is not ideal as they have to wait for the prevailing interbank rate over a short period of five days.

“We cannot properly plan because we have no idea how the interbank rate will be looking like from 22 July. We have had to top up fees this term and now this uncertainty too is just too much for us,” a parent told the ZBC News.

“The government just needs to intervene and assist us parents because, honestly, we cannot do this without proper planning. It just inconveniences everyone. The time frame also is just restrictive,” added another parent.

Some schools are understood to be demanding payment exclusively in hard currency.