School children (Image: UNICEF/UN050424/Tsvangirayi Mukwazhi)

Heartless Headmasters Turning Away Poor Students to Face Heavy Consequences as Zimbabwe Govt Gets Tough with Schools

The Zimbabwean government is taking strict action against school authorities who violate its directives by turning away pupils for non-payment of fees. Officials have been deployed to investigate claims that some schools in Harare are turning away pupils due to unpaid fees.

Zimlive reports that according to Primary and Secondary Education deputy minister, Edgar Moyo, disciplinary action is being taken against school authorities who have violated the directive.


“Schools are not allowed to send away students. The contract of school fees payment is between the school and the parents and not the students,” Moyo said.

“Where schools are sending away children who have not paid fees, there are penalties.

“The penalty is a charge that is attracted by that action.

“As I speak, yesterday (Tuesday) we got information that some schools here in Harare sent away children who had not paid fees and this morning our officers were in those schools where we expect charges to be preferred against the culprits.”

“If those cases are reported to us, we take corrective measures.

“Like I have already indicated, I may not name the schools in Harare where we sent officers this morning to go and interview the children, interview the teachers, the heads, with a view of preferring charges on those headmasters.”

Holiday Lessons Ban
School children (Image: UNICEF/UN050424/Tsvangirayi Mukwazhi)

Heavy Penalties for Violations

He further added that there are heavy penalties for schools that turn away children who have not paid fees. He warned that if such cases are reported, corrective measures would be taken against the culprits.

Moyo indicated that teams have been sent to schools to interview children, teachers, and heads with a view of preferring charges on those headmasters who have violated the directive.

“When I say charges, I am referring to disciplinary processes where we prefer a charge and say in terms of this section, you have committed an act of misconduct,” he said.

Illegal Refusal of Zimbabwean Dollar

Furthermore, Moyo said that measures are being taken against schools that refuse to accept payment in local currency, which is illegal. He warned heads who do not want to accept the Zimbabwe dollar as legal tender in their schools, saying, “We want to take this opportunity to warn them to say that there must not be a reason for stern measures against schools. They have to comply – the issues of compliance were discussed here, and we have to find ways of strengthening our statutes to ensure total compliance by our officers on the ground. That is not allowed, not to accept any legal tender in the country.”

Schools are allowed to peg their fees in US dollars, but if a parent wants to pay in local currency, they use the prevailing interbank rate on the date of payment.