The Zimbabwean government through the Ministry of Higher and Tertiary Education, Science and Technology Development will pay examination fees for upper six students under the Science Technology Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) programme for 2017.
STEM is funded under the Zimbabwe Manpower Development Fund (Zimdef), and under this programme examination fees were not included.
Commenting on the issue, Minister of Higher Education Professor Jonathan Moyo told the press in a statement that it was general position that in the fees paid under STEM had excluded examination fees, but this has been revisited.
“Following the submissions from the stakeholders, the Ministry of Higher and Tertiary Education, Science and Technology Development has taken the position to pay the examination fees,” he said.
Moyo said Zimdef regional offices and STEM provincial offices will assist the schools to expedite the process, and make sure that it is done efficiently and in a transparent manner.
“Schools are therefore advised to submit invoices for their examination fees to Zimdef regional offices. Like before, any parent who would have already paid examination fees will be reimbursed in the usual manner,” added Pro Moyo.
Prof Moyo said a total of 5 064 upper six STEM students had their first term fees of more than US$1.7 million paid up in January, added that examination fees have since been included in the deal.
This follows after there have been reports that more than 5 000 students in the STEM initiative could miss the plot as they fail to raise exam fees in time of registration to sit for the November examinations.
Moyo’s statement seem to have given Minister of Primary and Secondary Education, Lazarus Dokora a relief after he was recently quizzed by a senator on what was the government doing to help those under STEM, but not able to raise the exam fees. Dokora could not provide a conclusive answer, saying he wasn’t privy to the matter as his ministry was just a beneficiary.