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CJR in fees hike storm

by commuadmin
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CommuTalk Reporter

GWERU: Cecil John Rhodes (CJR) primary school is under spotlight after the school development committee (SDC) has made tuition fees proposals of more than 300 percent for next term with most parents complaining that they were not consulted in the process.

Complaining parents say they were surprised to see a ‘multiple choice’ of proposed hikes contrary to the tradition of discussing needed adjustments with parents before coming up with figures.

In a letter accessed by CommuTalk, CJR has asked parents to chose what they would prefer paying between RTGS12 600, RTGS14 280 and $16 800.

The letter signed by the schools SDC Chairperson Question Ndou also stated that the committee had to come up with resolutions without consultations following COVID-19 restrictions that limited number of people on gatherings.

“Given the COVID-19 regulations, gatherings are not permitted. Following the 2021 school budget drafting, the following figures have been proposed,” the letter reads.

“Please tick against the proposed fees adjustment of your choice and sign below,” instructed the letter.

The development has not gone down well with parents who argue that the proposes increments are beyond reach of many parents whose majority are civil servants while some arguments also state that there is no budget in the sent letter from where the intended expenditures derived.

Parents through the school’s WhatsApp group have also proposed that the school should have arranged an online discussion over the proposed fees hikes with many now pushing for the ouster of the SDC Chairperson whom they say ‘has no more locasi standi to demand budget from parents as his term expired in 2019’ and are demanding for an interim committee.

CommuTalk has it on good authority that the school has since directed all students to attend class everyday from an average of three days a week in a ploy designed to justify the recent fees increments.

However, it has since emerged that most school children are made to spend the better part of the day outside classroom in the guise of fighting the spread of COVID 19 pandemic as they only learn for two hours raising questions on the new arrangements.

Contacted for comment, Ndou emphasized that he could not discuss the issue over the phone.

“I can not talk such issues over the phone. Why can’t we meet and discuss in person,” Ndou said.

Further efforts to contact Ndou for a one-on-one talk as he suggested however went fruitless as his mobile phone went unanswered.

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