Bulawayo City Council owned schools are owed over $25 million
Bulawayo City Council owned schools are owed over $25 million in school fees for the first term by parents and Government, with half the pupils having not paid at all this year.
In the latest full council minutes, the director of housing and community services Mr Dictor Khumalo told members of the Finance and Development Committee that fees collection was poor as parents were not paying.
“The City of Bulawayo schools as at the end of first term 2021 had a total enrolment of 44 080 learners and $16 582 619 had been paid in fees, whilst $24 948 775 was owing. At the beginning of the year arrears of $10 667 218 were brought down from the previous years,” said Mr Khumalo.
He said the department had expected to receive $33 155 635 for the current term and $41 246 279 in arrears among other payments.
“This translated to a 44 percent collection rate. More than 50 percent of parents did not pay for their children’s education. It was worrying that most parents did not make efforts to pay for educational services and this negatively affected the operation of the school activities,” he said.
Mr Khumalo said some parents are taking advantage of the Ministry of Primary and Secondary Education policy and constitutional provisions outlawing sending away learners for nonpayment of fees.
Mr Khumalo said most parents do not honour the payment plans they enter with schools, paying only when the money would have lost purchasing power.
Council says school projects are suffering as it was difficult to provide adequate and relevant teaching and learning materials.
Government through the Basic Education Assistance Module (BEAM) paid $34 525 while $437 599 remained unpaid.
Mr Khumalo implored parents to come on board and play their part in paying for services offered.
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