The National Consumer Rights Association (Nacora) has bemoaned the uncertainty among parents amid indications that many schools will increase fees by at least 1 000% despite a government directive to cap increments by 20%.

Several schools in Matabeleland met parents last month and proposed fees and levy hikes with most private boarding schools demanding between $3 000 and $16 000 per term.

Nacora advocacy and campaign manager Effie Ncube said the skyrocketing cost of education will further marginalise children with disadvantaged backgrounds and render education a preserve of a rich few.

“The misgovernance of the country is now costing children their future. In the past year, we saw many children dropping out of school due to deepening poverty and rising cost of living,” Ncube said.

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He said a research by Nacora indicated that many children will not enrol for school this year due to astronomical fees and high cost of uniforms and learning aides.

“We, therefore, call upon government to place its priorities to ensure that no child is left behind. Otherwise literacy will go down exponentially over the coming years,” Ncube said.

“Also, we call upon the government to ensure full secondary education enrolment and that no child drops out due to poverty. The same applies to tertiary education.”