BY VANESSA GONYE

PARENTS have criticised the Zimbabwe Schools Examination Council (ZimSec) over the recent increase in examination fees.

The new fees range from $190 to $443 per subject for Ordinary Level and $351 to $432 per subject for Advanced Level.

The closing date for payment and submission of entries for June 2020 examinations is February 28. For November 2020 examinations, the closing date for payment and submission of entries is March 27, while the closing date for late entry is May 15.

Parents, who spoke to NewsDay on condition of anonymity, expressed shock over the examinations body’s lack of consideration as most of them are civil servants who earn less than what is required for a full sitting at either level.

Most people earn a little above $2 000, making the fees out of reach for many.

“I am a vendor; my daughter is in Form 4. I will need around $4 430 for her to write the 10 subjects she has been working on for the past four years. This increase is not people-centred, where on earth can I get that much by the end of the month?” queried a parent who declined to be named.

Another parent, speaking on the same basis, said: “I think a review is needed or at least if they could extend the deadline, to give us more time to run around for the money.”

Progressive Teachers Union of Zimbabwe secretary-general Raymond Majongwe lamented the parents’ fate over the development, at a time when salaries are eroded long before they are paid out.

“The new fees will be particularly hard on civil servants. Show me how civil servants will be able to afford exam fees for their children?” he said.

Last year, examination fees were $15, a far cry from the current rates, which leave many students vulnerable and in danger of dropping out of school.