DIRECT ABUSE. . . School in the eye of storm over holiday lessons

Arron Nyamayaro

A HARARE private school is being accused of targeting students, whose parents did not pay for mandatory holiday lessons, with some being denied gate passes to attend their lessons.

One parent, Dominic Saurombe, who advised the school his two children would not be part of the holiday lessons, has been going through hell just to try and pay fees for the new term.

He has been told his fees will not be accepted unless he first clears the money due for the holiday lessons even though his children did not attend the classes.

He ended up approaching authorities in the Ministry of Education to try and have his issue resolved after attempts to pay school fees for his kids were frustrated.

The school sent letters to parents demanding that Forms 1, 3 and 5 students attend extra holiday classes if they could not score above 60 percent in their respective subjects.

Junior school pupils were expected to pay US$120, Form 2 students had to pay the same amount, while

Form 4 students were charged US$180.

Upper Sixth students had to pay US$220.

Saurombe then wrote to the school that his children would not attend the extra lessons because he had made alternative arrangements for their studies during the school break.

“This letter is a response, first to the letter we received on July 10, and the second one in the form of a newsletter received on August 4, from the school advising us that our children were compulsorily required to attend holiday lessons,” he wrote.

“Secondly, the meetings I had with Mr Mushori in response to the amount purportedly due to the school from last holiday lessons which one of my children did not attend.

“Having advised her class teacher that she could not attend, I would like it to be noted that my family did not sign up for the mandatory holiday lessons outside of the school calendar gazetted by the Government of Zimbabwe.

“Unless otherwise, on mutual agreement and as much I am not liable for mandatory payment of holiday fees if my kids did not attend.

“My children’s performance is at worst good and at best exceptional and, as such, do not see the need for mandatory extra lessons.”

Contacted for comment, Direct Contact headmaster, Mushori, expressed ignorance about an order to bar children from attending class for not paying for holiday lessons.

“I am not aware of what you are saying,” said Mushori.

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