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Drought Deter Parents Capacity From Paying School Fees

By Artwell Chingwara Sithole

El Nino induced drought has negatively impacted on parents’ capacity to pay children’s school fees, a survey has revealed. Public primary school fees in Chipinge district ranges from US$10 to US$40 while as secondary fees ranges from US$45 to US$130.

Parents who spoke to the Post revealed that they are now being tempted to use the little resources they have to acquire food.

“This year’s drought has negatively affected me. I usually sell surplus to pay my children’s school fees but this year the situation is bad as I am even failing to provide adequate meals for my family, so to think of school fees is another issue,” Isaah Majoki.

Mbuya Chisuwo echoed the similar sentiments and went on to beg for intervention from well wishers.

“This has been a tough year for. I can’t sail through without help from well wishers. There is likelihood that my grand children shall be chased away from school since I haven’t paid for their tuition,” she said.

Mutema – Musikavanhu constituency ward 21 councillor Rapheus Semwayo confirmed that parents in his wards are failing to pay fees due to effects of drought.

“Drought has affected parents capacity to pay school fees since most of them relied on selling surplus. Government arms are providing food aid to some selected households in the ward but currently has downsized the aid from 10kg to 7.5kg per beneficiary,” he said.

According to Zimbabwe Livelihoods Assessment Committee (ZimLAC) report the El Nino induced drought has left 7.7 million Zimbabweans in dire need of food assistance, amid revelations an additional 4.5 million children would require meals in schools to avert humanitarian catastrophe.

More than 60% of Zimbabwe’s population live in rural areas, growing food they eat and sometimes small surplus that they sell to meet expenses such as school fees.