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Zimbabwe Schools Turn Away Children for Failing to Pay Fees

Fewer pupils attended classes Tuesday as some schools turned away those failing to pay fees and building levies.

Schools opened for the 2016 first term Tuesday with reports that some of them were turning away children for non-payment of fees.

This came at a time the government introduced a $2 and $5 building levy per child for primary and secondary schools respectively.

Teachers Union of Zimbabwe chief executive officer, Manuel Nyawo, said as an organization representing teachers who were also parents, they found it heartless on the part of schools that are turning away children.

He also criticized the government for introducing the levy when parents were struggling to pay school fees for their children.

Studio 7 failed to reach Education Minister Lazarus Dokora for a comment as he was not responding to calls made on his mobile phone.

But Nyawo told Studio 7 they will approach the government to seek a clarification since the constitution clearly stipulates that no child should be barred from attending classes because of non-payment of any fees.

“We are even appealing to the government of Zimbabwe through the Ministry of Primary and Secondary Education, in particular Minister Lazarus Dokora, to make sure that corrective measures are taken,” Nyawo said.

Meanwhile, the Progressive Teachers Union of Zimbabwe said its members throughout all the provinces have proposed industrial action ranging from a strike, sit-in, stay away, demonstration, march, go-slow to even picketing.

The union posted a message on its Facebook page that after carefully considering all these options “the leadership is convinced a go-slow is a good starting point.”

It noted that their attitudes and actions must harden as they meet in their staff rooms starting Tuesday.

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