The Brethren In Christ Church (BICC) is reportedly demanding prospective Form One pupils to pay full fees as a guarantee to secure places at its boarding schools.
The development has riled parents and guardians who successfully applied for Form One places at the mission schools through the online application system.
Parents who spoke to CITE revealed that Mtshabezi and Matopo High Schools were demanding payment of $640 and $840 respectively.
“Pay our fees/levies (inclusive of once-off levies too) of $640.00 (six hundred and forty dollars) and submit evidence thereof within three days of receipt of this offer,” read an offer letter from Mtshabezi High School.
The parents were given three working days to pay the full fees or risk forfeiting the place.
“We applied online and l was called that my child got a place and have to bring school fees to secure the place. I do not have the money and he was only accepted at Mtshabezi. If I do not pay by the deadline, my child would not get any other place for form one,” said one parent who requested anonymity.
Boarding schools have adopted the Ministry of Education’s Electronic Ministry Application Platform (eMAP) system to enroll pupils for form one classes.
According to the system, once the prospective pupil is offered a place at a particular school, they are given an option to accept or decline the offer.
If their application is accepted by any school their name will no longer appear on the portal and puts them at risk of failing to secure another place at a different school should they fail to complete the enrolment process where they were originally offered a place.
Another parent said due to economic hardships, it will be difficult for parents to settle the fees in full before schools open for the first term in January next year.
“I have not yet been paid the fees for my child but l will hunt for the money. My child has to go to Form One,” she said.
Those parents who are yet to get a place were told to come on back on Wednesday just in case some parents would not be able to pay the fees.
Efforts to get comment from Mtshabezi High School Headmaster Mr Morgan Moyo were fruitless as his phone went unanswered.