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Schools set Debt Collectors on Defaulting Parents

PARENTS of pupils who fail to pay school fees and levies could lose household property and other valuables after schools in the capital set debt collectors on them to compel payments.


Many Harare parents woke up last week to scary threats from debt collectors after various schools engaged their services.

The parents were served with letters from debt collectors after some failed to pay fees and levies.
One letter from a debt collector to a parent reads: “Your account has been handed over to us for collection. An amount of US$26 in respect of levy/fees is now overdue and payable.

“In the circumstances, we have been instructed to demand as we hereby do, payment of the sum of US$26 at our offices within 48 HOURS, failing which we will instruct the messenger of court to attach and sell your property without further notice.”

A Mabvuku parent told the Zimbabwe Independent this week that they were afraid of having their property and valuables attached  after schools ordered parents to top-up fees and demanded higher levies.

But Education minister David Coltart this week said admission fees government announced in May for the second term of the schooling year were enough while schools and parents needed to agree on levies.
The fees were set at US$10 for secondary schools and US$5 for primary. Rural schools were exempted from charging fees.

He said: “The admission fees we announced were deemed as enough this term. What school authorities then need to do is to determine levies that should be collectively agreed to by parents in a meeting.”

Coltart emphasised the need for school authorities to consult with parents in coming up with amounts that should be paid as levies. But schools have engaged debt collectors on parents who failed to pay levies.

BY CHRIS MURONZI

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