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Zimbabwe Schools Reopen, But Many Students And Teachers Absent

Schools in Zimbabwe officially re-opened on Tuesday but many children and teachers failed to show up as parents scrambled to raise soaring fees and teachers either lacked transport fees or stayed away pending a strike call by the Progressive Teachers Union of Zimbabwe.

Some private schools, meanwhile, were said to be demanding that school fees be paid in the form of gasoline, fuel coupons, or hard currency up to US$1,000 for the semester.

Even those who could pay such fees were asked to send food, books and stationary.

Chitungwiza parent Ashley Muza said she had to pay 400 South African rand in fees to her son’s boarding school or risk seeing him sent back home.

National Incomes and Pricing Commission Chairman Godwills Masimirembwa told reporter Patience Rusere of VOA's Studio 7 for Zimbabwe that it is illegal to demand payment of school fees in any currency other than the Zimbabwe dollar, threatening action against violators.

More reports from VOA's Studio 7 for Zimbabwe...