Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Shortages as Zim Schools open

From the AP:

Margaret Boora, a single mother, said she couldn't raise the $200 for fees, exercise books and a uniform for her daughter's first term at high school. She earns $15 a month as an office janitor, a typical wage for unskilled workers.

"I don't know what to do. It is not possible for me to find the money," she said. A blazer and a hat with a school badge alone were priced at $72, nearly five times her monthly take-home pay. There are no cheaper schools within walking distance in her area and bus fares cost more than $1 a day.

Parents at one store in downtown Harare were told school shoes were out of stock. But black market dealers were offering them for 80 million Zimbabwe dollars — about $40 at the dominant illegal exchange rate — at a street market in the western township of Mbare....

Boora said her daughter would stay away from school unless dress regulations were relaxed. School authorities said they were awaiting instructions from the Education Ministry.....

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