By Clayton Shereni, correspondent for Masvingo
FRANCIS Aphiri Primary School in Masvingo is reportedly asking parents to contribute $15 per child to purchase a new vehicle at a time when parents are struggling to pay school fees and students lack learning materials from base.
School authorities struggling to provide adequate textbooks and classrooms appear to have misplaced their priorities after parents expressed dissatisfaction with the decision.
The decision to acquire the vehicle came from a recent School Development Committee (SDC) meeting where it was placed at the top of the priority list.
Parents who attended the meeting told NewZimbabwe.com that it had been decided that the current vehicle used by the headmaster of the school was too old and needed replacing, but they expressed discomfort with the move.
“It baffles us as parents who don’t respect tuition that the school is now charging an extra $15 which they say is for a new vehicle,” said one parent who did not want to be named.
“The current (vehicle) is actually still operational and we wonder why this (replacement) was prioritized.
“Our children are hot sitting because there are no adequate classrooms, but it seems the school authorities want luxury vehicles to compete with other schools.”
Contacted for comment, school principal Henry Maregere confirmed they were moving to purchase a new vehicle and said the decision was made by parents who attended the May 28, 2022 meeting.
“It was a decision that was made by the parents who came to the meeting,” Maregere said.
“Those who said all kinds of derogatory things were not present.
“Most of the time when parents get together, they make their own decisions. Decisions go through many channels, including the line ministry.
The school, which has 2,461 students, is seeking to raise some US$36,915 for the purchase of a vehicle.