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Local organisations in campaign to reverse exam fees increase

by BustopTV

Staff Reporter

A huge number of organisations in the country have engaged in an ‘Every child in school’ campaign that seeks to force the government to revoke the recently announced Zimbabwe School Examinations Council (ZIMSEC) exorbitant fees.

“Every Child In School #ECIS” focuses on the constitutional right to education with the view that many guardians cannot pay the new fees.

Unions and organisations include; Tag a life International (TaLI), Zimbabwe National Council for the Welfare of Children (ZNCWC), Women’s Coalition of Zimbabwe (WCoZ), Mambure Trust, Evangelical Fellowship of Zimbabwe (EFZ), UDACIZA, Justice for Children (JCT), PROWEB, Female Students Network (FSNT), Forum for African Women Educationalists Zimbabwe (FAWEZI), Research Advocacy Unit, Higher Life Foundation, Education Coalition of Zimbabwe (ECOZI), Zimbabwe Women In Politics Alliance, Rebuild Sakubva (RESA), World Vision, Issues Pane Nyaya, Katswe Sisterhood, Zimbabwe Alliance, Girls and Women Empowerment Network Trust (GWEN), Zimbabwe Women In Politics Alliance, Shamwari Ye Mwanasikana (SYS) Citizen Participation Trust, Shanduko, Jointed Hands Welfare Organisation, Zimbabwe Activists Alliance, Amalgamated Rural Teachers Union of Zimbabwe, Zimbabwe Parents for Handicapped Children Association. Umzingwane AIDS Network, Hope Alive Child Network, D.P Foundation, Child and Guardian Foundation, Christian Legal Society, Voice of the voiceless – Multiple Foundation, WWT, HOCIC, Progress Trust (Bubi), Impumellelo Trust, Kwa- Foundation Trust, Scripture Union Bulawayo, Cacile Trust, Sinethemba Women and Youth Trust, Vhulindlela Trust, Revival of Hope Trust, Queens Park Development Association, Sir Humphrey Gibbs Centre, Sir Humphrey Gibbs Centre, Young Women, Youth and Adolescents, Sthandiwe Children’s Home, Rozaria Memorial Trust.

According to the ECIS organisers, government decision to increase fees would eventually force the ‘poor’ out of schools considering their paltry incomes.

“The increase in examination fees is against the constitutional right of children especially the poor who are currently struggling to access the enrolment or retention due to the inability of their parents and guardians to keep up with current costs of education and general hardship in the Zimbabwe economy.

“This campaign #ECIS calls on the Government of Zimbabwe to immediately revoke the recent announcement by the ZIMSEC which seeks to impose an increase on examination fees on the already burdened citizens.

“This examination fees increase gives a blind eye and a mismatch to the constitutional provisions of Section 75 that makes a guarantee to state funded basic education, which the government further emphasised through the recently released policy ‘Secretary’s Circular 3 of 2019’.

“The overdue Education Act whose bill awaits the Presidential assertion also provides for state-funded-basic-education.” It read ” This exorbitant imposition of examination fees is against the above constitutional provision of the rights to education of every child.

When the government through ZIMSEC transfers such heavy burden to parents who are actually failing to meet the previous fees then the state is not paying attention to its responsibility and the real struggle of parents.”

ECIS urged the government to suspend the examination fees increase and encourage subsidization of the fee so as to avoid burdening the unemployed parents.

“Every Child In School therefore strongly urges the government of Zimbabwe to suspend this examination increase, and engage with the examination board to arrange for either subsidization of these fees so that the burden is not transferred to the already struggling formally unemployed parents, or altogether maintain the current fees as they are, while the government makes strides to make these fees completely free.

“ECIS thus reminds the government of Zimbabwe of its obligation to be practical and walk the talk pertaining the marginalised already left out children of Zimbabwe and ban this increase.”

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