Zimbabwe gov’t bows to pressure to reverse exam fee hike

APA-Harare (Zimbabwe)

The Zimbabwe government was on Wednesday forced to reverse an earlier decision to hike examination fees by up to 1,250 percent following a public outcry.

The Zimbabwe School Examinations Council (ZIMSEC) last month announced the shock examination fee hike that saw Ordinary Level students being required to pay Z$190 (about US$10.67) per subject, up from Z$15 a subject last year.  

Examination fees for Advanced Level students were set at Z$351 a subject, from Z$26 previously.

This translated to increases of about 1,167 percent and 1,250 percent, respectively.

Primary and Secondary Education Minister Cain Mathema said on Wednesday that the government has ordered ZIMSEC to revert to the previous examination fees, which have been in existence since 2015.

“While the examination fees that were published are based on the actual cost of each examination, the Ministry of Primary and Secondary Education would like to inform parents and guardians that following further representations, the recently released circular on the 2020 examination fees has been cancelled with immediate effect,” Mathema said in a statement.

Parents were up in arms against the astronomical rise in examination fees, particularly in light of the low salaries that they get paid.

The hike would have meant that a student would have been required to pay about Z$1,900 for the average number of 10 Ordinary Level subjects, an amount way above the average monthly salary for most poor parents.


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