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Amendment Bill sails through House
February 15, 2006
Amendment Bill that seeks to provide for the charging of school
fees and levies based on the consumer Price Index as published by
the Central Statistics Office almost sailed through the House of
The House agreed
on most clauses of the proposed law except three clauses, which
were deferred to today for further consideration.
Debate on the
Bill dominated proceedings yesterday with the deliberations lasting
for about four hours.
clauses were 3,5 and 7 which seek to amend interpretation of the
section of the principal Act, procedures in applying for fee or
levy increases and provisions for the constitution of a school parents
In his seconding
reading speech, Education, Sport and Culture Minister Cde Aneas
Chigwedere told the House that the Bill sort to correct certain
anomalies that had come to the attention of the ministry.
He said provisions
empowering the minister to prescribe the minimum qualifications
of all teachers employed by all schools had been necessitated by
the need to standardise the education system.
of staff at some private schools has racist overtones, they continue
to employ their friends, kin and kith without the necessary qualifications,"
On School uniforms,
Cde Chigwedere said there was provision empowering the minister
to regulate their prices.
Turning to the
proposals for the establishment of a School Services Fund by private
schools, he said currently there were no guidelines on the utilisation
of funds by such schools.
Such funds would
be liable to audit by Government auditors.
said the teaching of Zimbabwe’s three main languages – Shona, English
and Ndebele – in all schools up to Form Two was meant to promote
to the debate, Chitungwiza MP and chairperson of the parliamentary
portfolio committee on Education, Sport and Culture Mr Fidelis Mhashu
commended the minister for coming up with a new consolidated text
of the Bill. He hailed several provisions in the proposed law that
included those empowering the minister to prescribe minimum qualifications
for all teachers and on the need for private schools to work in
conjunction with Government schools.
Mhashu said administrative issues at private schools and the role
of the school parents assembly should be left to respective school
Chigwedere) is sinking too low. He is going down to the schools
as if he is a headmaster," he said.
Mr Mhashu said
there was need for a complete overhaul of the education system in
line with recommendations by Nziramasanga Commission.
said appeals for levies or school fees should be directed to the
Administrative Court and not to the minister first as set out in
Whip Cde Joram Gumbo said a ballot system should be applied when
parents would be voting on whether or not fees or levies should
be increased since some of the parents were timid on such issues
MDC Chief Whip
and Mutare Central MP Mr Innocent Gonese said there was need to
improve the education standards, which he said had deteriorated,
particularly in Government schools.
Cde Chigwedere said Government was already implementing recommendations
of the Nziramasanga Commission and this included the proposals for
the teaching of English, Shona and Ndebele up to Form Two.
He allayed fears
by the lawmakers that there appeared to be too much bureaucracy
in the application for fee or levy increases, saying these would
be dealt with in an expeditious manner.
said Government had no problem with the majority of the schools
as experience had shown that only 64 trust schools had the habit
of increasing fees to unacceptable levels.
said he would consider the issue of applying the ballot system for
parents to vote freely on whether or not fees or levies should be
The Bill makes
it mandatory for every school authority to apply to the Secretary
of Education, Sports and Culture for approval before charging fee
is in turn, obliged to approve the increase where such increase
does not exceed the percentage increase in the cost of living from
the beginning to the end of the preceding term as indicated by the
CPI published by the Central Statistics Office.
should get approval of a majority of the parents at a meeting of
the school parents assembly attended by not less than 20 percent
of the parents.
authority aggrieved by a decision of the Secretary may appeal to
the minister who after due consideration may grant or refuse the
appeal before fixing the appropriate fee or levy.
by the decision of the minister may appeal to the Administrative
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