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    Monday, 11 September 2017

    Zvishavane school builds granary to store grain paid as fees

    •   Dokora's many workshops leaving school coffers dry


    ZVISHAVANE – Parents at Shonhai Secondary School in Zvishavane have built a granary to store fees paid in the form of grain as barter has become the in-thing in the face of cash crisis in the country.
    Most schools in Chief Mapanzure's area are now accepting fees payments in grain, goats, chicken and other agricultural products.
    Parents who spoke to The Mirror also complained that the many workshops for school heads that are being called by the Minister of Primary and Secondary Schools, Lazarus Dokora have left schools in the red. They said that some schools were so poor that the little they get in school fees was being consumed by the heads' travels.
    The matter emerged during a visit to schools in Chief Mapanzure and Chief Mafala's areas by Midlands Senator Lillian Timvious last weekend.
    Parents at the newly opened Shonhai Secondary School said they were failing to raise cash for school fees due to the cash crisis.
    The School Development Chairperson Tsitsi Badza said the school has since constructed a granary that works as a school safe where they stock all maize paid by parents.
    After collecting the maize the school through the Chiefs' aide then sell the grain to the GMB which will then transfer money into the school account.
    "Villagers have no money at all and this is why we have resorted to this. The Minister (Dokora) approved this barter deal during his visit at Matenda Primary here in Zvishavane. He instructed schools to accept goats, chickens and other agricultural produce," she said.
    "Dokora has been calling for workshops some in Kariba where we had to fund three teachers to attend and this cost us over $2500. We had to divert this money from the construction of a classroom block. The Government must fund its workshops and not milk us in this manner. We can't pay bus fares and accommodation for these teachers in grain or other agricultural produce," said Badza.
    Fees for the school is $35 and a bucket of maize is charged at $4, goats are charged at $15 while chickens range from $2-$5.
    Chief Mapanzure pleaded with the Government to return subsidies to assist with school development.
    Senator Timvious said she was going to raise the matter in the Senate and also approach Dokora.
    "I will raise the matter in the Senate and also seek audience with Dokora because this situation is just not tenable," she said.
    Efforts to get a comment from Dokora were fruitless as his phone went unanswered.
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