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to Zimbabwe's private schools
August 12, 2005
HARARE — Hundreds
of private schools would be forced to shut down in Zimbabwe if a
bill allowing President Robert Mugabe’s government to set fees and
recruit teachers was passed, teachers and school associations warned
bill passes through parliament in its current form, by mid-next
year half of our schools will be closed down and our children will
be roaming the streets," said lawyer Edith Mushore, representing
the Association of Trust Schools, a grouping of about 550 private
at a parliamentary committee hearing that the proposed reform of
the education laws was "an unprecedented attack on private
schools" in Zimbabwe, which had one of the highest education
levels in Africa.
Amendment Bill was presented in May, allowing the education minister
to set school fees, impose a school uniform and determine recruitment
of all teachers, including those in privately run schools.
contends that the private schools, which cater to well-off Zimbabweans,
should be made accessible to all.
One of the two
major teachers’ unions agreed that the bill would prevent private
schools from operating in Zimbabwe.
convinced it will cripple the operations of all private schools,"
said Raymond Majongwe of the Progressive Teachers Union of Zimbabwe.
should not be allowed to make rules and regulations to control the
running of private schools and the conduct of teachers they don’t
employ," Majongwe said.
law would allow the government to close down schools that charged
fees above those set by the minister.
could be prosecuted if their schools overcharged. Zimbabwe last
year shut down several private schools it said were charging exorbitant
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