Following a move by the ZIMSEC to hike examination fees by over 1 200 percent, junior parliamentarians have petitioned the government seeking a reduction in the exorbitant and ‘unreasonable’ fees.
The junior legislators also argue that they were supposed to have been consulted before ZIMSEC came up with the hike.
“Yesterday (Tuesday) as the Junior Parliament of Zimbabwe, we petitioned the Ministry of Primary and Secondary Education to reduce examination fees that were set by Zimsec because they are unreasonable and beyond the reach of many. The new structure of exam fees is an infringement on the Zimbabweans’ right to education,” said Tinashe Ngirandi, the Junior Minister of Youth, Sport Arts and Recreation.
In the petition, the members of the Junior House of Assembly argued:
“Junior Parliament and Council is not supporting these fees and we are therefore asking the Ministry to review them considering section 81 subsection (1) paragraph (f) of the Constitution of Zimbabwe. Looking towards a favourable response before the end of the week,” read the petition.
But, ZIMSEC defiantly defended the examination fees increment, saying they were yet to see the petition.
“Yes, the examination fees were reviewed. This comes after we did not review them last year. It is an expense to run an examination and we are cognisant of the fact that children should have a right to education. I have not yet received the the petition you are talking about,” ZIMSEC Board Chairperson Professor Eddie Mwenje said.
Last week, ZIMSEC announced that both public and private candidates will have to fork out $190 per subject for Ordinary an Advanced Level examinations. Closing dates for payments and submission of entries for June examinations is February 28 while the closing date for those sitting in November is March 27.
On the other hand, late entries will close on May 15.