Take parents to court, minister tells schools

PRIMARY and Secondary Education minister Lazarus Dokora yesterday urged schools to use traditional and civil courts to recover fees and levies owed to them by parents and guardians.

PHILLIP CHIDAVAENZI
SENIOR REPORTER

Addressing journalists in Harare, Dokora also said his ministry will in the next four months start implementing recommendations made by the Nziramasanga Commission on education in the late 1990s.

“On the issue of defaulting parents and guardians, schools must take recourse through presenting a list of parents owing money in levies to traditional leaders, who should then summon the parents to court,” he said.

“In urban areas, the list should be presented to the small claims courts in the appropriate, formal manner or the Magistrates’ Courts.

“There shall be no exceptions. Levies must be paid.”

He added that all levies should be collected and accounted for and his ministry will be studying the trends in the schools.

“As revenue flows in, it becomes a priority to establish how they are impacting on school development,” he said. Dokora challenged schools to use the money to enhance infrastructural development.

He said the process of implementing the Nziramasanga Commission findings will be inaugurated immediately after a Cabinet briefing.
He, however, said he might have to revise some of the recommendations in  in line with new technology trends.

“The 1999 Nziramasanga Commission is now at the level of implementation, but we just have to be sure because between 1999 and now a lot of water has gone under the bridge,” he said.

Dokora said they had pooled in $1,6 million as the starting budget for implementing the recommendations but they still needed additional funding.

“I still have my basket open because we are still looking for more resources,” he said.

“We think that we still have space in the basket to add more dollar bills,” he said, adding that his ministry was strengthening its systems to ensure efficient and effective teaching and learning.

Dokora said high unemployment levels in the country demonstrated that the school curriculum needed to be revisited.

“The high unemployment rate is testimony to this curriculum challenge, among other challenges, hence the need to conduct the curriculum review which we have set for within the next four months,” he said.

The consultations, he said, will be conducted at 8 300 school sites in all the provinces.

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