ZiG Saga: Government speaks on school fees payments


The Government has taken steps to ensure that parents can pay fees and levies in the currency of their choice, as the law demands, and that children can travel safely to their schools.

Speaking ahead of the reopening of schools tomorrow for the second term, authorities say everything is in place for the start of classes and that modalities are already in place for the June examinations.

Authorities have since directed schools to accept payment in ZiG as it is part of the acceptable basket of currencies and the police have assured parents and schoolchildren travelling back to schools countrywide that they will be out in full force to ensure the safety of learners and to avoid road carnage.

Yesterday, parents and guardians with children at boarding schools were doing their last-minute shopping in most parts of the country.

On the whole, the weekend was a hive of activity as guardians and parents were making last-minute preparations for the second term, including raising school fees and buying uniforms and other supplies such as stationery.

Bookshops, school uniform merchants and those in education-related businesses registered brisk business in Harare yesterday and expect to continue throughout this week.

Primary and Secondary Education Permanent Secretary Mr Moses Mhike said all was set for a smooth start to the second term.

“Everything is going well so far with schools set to open tomorrow. All the schools in the country are ready to open,” he said.

Zimsec is also prepared for the upcoming June examinations.

“From the conversation I had with the Zimsec board last week, almost everything is now in place for the 2024 June exams,” he said.

Meanwhile, Mr Mhike, in an interview with our sister publication The Sunday Mail, warned the minority of schools refusing ZiG as a form of payment. Private schools have mostly been refusing to accept ZiG payments, telling parents that they were still finalising consultations on ZiG payments amid fears they were planning to set the ZiG fees above the official exchange rate, fuelling the black market in the process, and undoing Government efforts to stabilise the economy.

“Therefore, school authorities are expected to abide by the pronouncement made by the RBZ in terms of the new currency that has been introduced,” he said.

“It is not a matter of choice, but to simply accept ZiG as legal tender, which is amongst the basket of other currencies.

“Therefore, as usual, schools are expected to provide to parents and guardians all the payment modalities, like payment in cash, online transfers and swipe.”

“The ministry will be working with other Government agencies, including, ZACC (Zimbabwe Anti Corruption Commission), FIU (Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe’s Financial Intelligence Unit), the police, as well as our school inspectors to ensure compliance with the use of the multi-currency system,” he said.

“Any school heads who defy this directive will have disciplinary measures taken against them.”

Parents, who also spoke to The Herald, said Government should ensure that schools accept payment in ZiG.

Mr Thomas Dande, a parent, said he had made adequate preparations for the second term for his kids.

“It is a sad reality that whenever a term ends, preparations for the next time must commence immediately. I paid fees for my two children and made all necessary preparations,” he said.

Mrs Kudzai Chigubu, who has a child at Nkululeku High School, said so far, the preparations have been smooth.

Another parent Joseph Mutungura said there was need for police to be deployed to ensure that schools accept all forms of payment.

Police in conjunction with various stakeholders, including the Traffic Safety Council of Zimbabwe (TSCZ) will be manning roadblocks and conducting awareness campaigns along the major roads.

Public service vehicles and motorists have since been urged to avoid overloading, speeding, and disregarding traffic rules and regulations.

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