Saturday, May 27, 2006

Zim to "descend" on private schools

The government of Zimbabwe's President Robert Mugabe said it would "descend" on schools in the country that hiked fees without permission from the authorities, it was reported on Thursday.

The threat appears to be directed mainly at private schools, which are often run by trusts in Zimbabwe....Chigwedere told Parliament that "a number of schools, especially trust schools, had hiked fees or levies by more than the rise in the consumer price index or were charging day pupils more than 30% of what boarders were paying without special permission", the Herald said.

The threat will bring back memories of events in 2003, when more than a dozen schools were temporarily shut down and a number of headmasters of private schools were arrested because of high fees.

The authorities said the schools were "racist" and were trying to exclude black pupils.

Under recently introduced legislation schools are not allowed to charge day pupils more than 30% of full boarding fees, while fee hikes are supposed to be made in tandem with rises in the consumer price index.

Those found guilty of contravening the law are liable to a fine or a 12-month jail term. -- Sapa-dpa

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