The Amalgamated Rural Teachers Union of Zimbabwe (ARTUZ), strongly condemns the actions of School Heads in Mashonaland West province, who are demanding USD 1 from every learner for some National Association of Schools Inspectors and Directors, NASID conferences, particularly during a period when rural areas and Zimbabwe as a whole is grappling with a severe drought.

This situation has brought immense economic and social pressure upon parents who are already barely surviving.The majority of parents in rural areas rely on subsistence farming as their main source of livelihood. However, due to the dry pasture conditions caused by the drought, their cattle herds are suffering, further intensifying the threat to their livelihoods and exacerbating food insecurity in the nation.

It is imperative to recognize that climate change plays a significant role in contributing to the current crisis, and its consequences are devastating.In the midst of this dire situation, it is absolutely unjustifiable to burden parents and students with additional financial obligations for events like NASID conferences, which hold no direct relevance to education or the daily operations of learners.

The proposed “civies day” where each child is expected to contribute $1 is particularly disapproved, as it places an unnecessary strain on already struggling families.Instead of diverting funds towards conferences that do not directly benefit students, schools should prioritize providing quality education and creating a conducive learning environment.

The focus should be on supporting students’ academic development and well-being, especially during these challenging times.It is deeply concerning that heads of schools are pressuring parents to fund the Association of Schools Inspectors and Directors while simultaneously obstructing essential infrastructure development.

This hypocrisy is evident in their denial of requests for boreholes and necessary equipment, while demanding financial contributions from parents already facing economic hardships.

The disregard for student welfare and the mismanagement of funds is disheartening. The authorities responsible for approving such expenditures must prioritize the genuine needs of schools and learners, rather than imposing arbitrary charges or hindering essential projects.

We urgently call upon the relevant authorities to address these issues and ensure transparency, fairness, and accountability in the allocation and utilization of funds within the education sector.

It is crucial to prioritize the educational well-being of our students and to alleviate the financial burdens imposed on parents who are already struggling to make ends meet.

Zimbabwe’s education finances are bleeding because of these mushrooming Associations who demand financial support from Schools. Voluntary Associations like Teachers for ED, NASH, NAPH and NASID e.t.c should be funded by the members not learners.