Teacher unions say the Zimbabwe School Examinations Council (ZIMSEC) Ordinary and Advanced Level examination fees are too high and some learners may fail to continue with their education.
ZIMSEC set the 2023 examination fees at US$24 per subject but candidates will pay US$11, while the government pays the balance.
Advanced Level examination fees are at US$48, with candidates paying US$22, while the government pays the balance.
In a statement, the Amalgamated Rural Teachers Union of Zimbabwe (ARTUZ) said civil servants will struggle to raise the examination fees for their children. Reads part of the statement:
ZIMSEC pegged its registration fees to an equivalent of US$24 dollars per subject. This gives an average Ordinary Level candidate the cost burden of US$120 for a minimum of five subjects.
This is occurring in a context where the average civil servant is earning close to US$150 per month, hence making the examination fee way above their means.
It also means that the average learner will require more than four months to raise adequate funds to register for examinations while the Friday, April 14 deadline leaves students with less than six days to pay.
Progressive Teachers Union of Zimbabwe president Takavafira Zhou concurred.
Speaking to NewsDay, Zhou said ZIMSEC should extend the registration deadline to give parents and guardians more time to raise the required examination fees. He said:
The shift by ZIMSEC from US$22 to US$24 will heap burning coals upon the heads of thousands of Zimbabwean parents.
It is prudent for ZIMSEC to realise that many pupils will drop out of school due to exorbitant school fees.
Government must, therefore, make an urgent intervention to ensure that pupils can register for examinations.
Above all, the period of registration is too short, and an extension until schools open will provide parents with a breathing space to hunt for examination fees.
Examination registration fees are pegged in USD and parents can make payments in ZWL, USD or ZAR.
Source: Pindula News