Schools demand gate passes from learners

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By Clayton Shereni, Masvingo Correspondent

SCHOOLS are turning away pupils who are not fully paid, against a government directive barring them from denying the access to learning facilities.

Investigations by revealed that some schools are demanding gate passes from receipts for every learner to access the classrooms.

In Masvingo, Francis Aphiri Primary, Mucheke High, Ndarama High and Helen McGhie are some of the schools that are turning pupils away.

A parent whose child is enrolled at Helen McGhie said the school has been chasing away pupils since Tuesday.

“Since Tuesday, kids who are not fully paid up at Helen McGhie are being turned away. Teachers were given a directive by superiors at the school to turn away these kids. The school has always been like that in previous terms and this has become a norm,” said the parent, who spoke on condition of anonymity.

Masvingo Provincial Education Director, Shylette Mhike claimed she could not immediately comment as she was shopping.

“I am not hearing you clearly. Can you call later, right now I am shopping,” said Mhike.

Efforts to draw her to comment later were fruitless as her mobile was unreachable.

Ministry of Primary and Secondary Education spokesperson, Taungana Ndoro, said schools should engage parents for payment plans and that no child should be sent away for non payment of fees.

“Govt policy is that no child should be sent back and the school should engage the parents for a payment plan,” said Ndoro.

Some schools are reportedly denying payment plans from parents.

This has left thousands of underprivileged pupils stranded as they can’t access school facilities.