Wednesday, March 08, 2006

Mugabe's policy will probably close private schools

Private schools plan to challenge the constitutionality of the Education Amendment Bill that gives the government powers to determine school fees, once President Robert Mugabe signs it into law.

The Association of Trust Schools, that represents privately-owned schools, said in a statement that the new law lacked ‘rational economic thinking’ and would create chaos in non-government schools that were run with fees paid by students, reports ZimOnline. The controversial new law will now require all schools to first seek approval from the Education Minister before hiking fees....

The ATS and ACES-run schools are the only sources of a good and reliable education for young Zimbabweans as the country's once highly regarded public schools crumble due to years of under-funding and mismanagement.

But Mugabe's government accuses the schools of taking advantage of their good reputation to extort money from parents by charging exorbitant fees and levies, which the government says is used to fund lavish lifestyles for school executives.

The government last year forced several privately-run schools to close and threatened to jail authorities there for refusing to lower fees. When the matter was refereed to the High Court, it ruled that the government had no right to set fees at private schools. ..

The controversial new law will now require all schools whether state owned or not to first seek approval from the secretary of education before hiking fees. The law also sets stringent conditions under which school authorities may be allowed to increase fees or levies.

For example, under the new law, fee hikes should not exceed "the percentage increase in the cost of living from the beginning to the end of the preceding term as indicated by the Consumer Price Index published by the Central Statistics Office".

The ATS says this and other requirements before fee hikes can be approved under the new law are arbitrary and do not make economic sense because "the cost structures of the more than 500 non-government schools are not the same depending with location and type of boarding facilities offered at each school." ...

Now let me see:
600 percent you increase your "fees" not to increase profit but merely to cover the devaluation of the Zim dollar...but you aren't allowed to increase the fee without the Government's permission...

So you end up not being able to afford to pay teachers or keep the school you close.

Ah, socialism at work...

1 comment:

NicoleW said...

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