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‘Schools violation the rights of pupils’ By Ndumiso Mgutshini.

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Owing to non payment of schools fees, levies by some parents and guardians learning institutions have resorted to turning away pupils insisting that they pay outstanding and current fees to enable them to attend lessons.A school pass is now a requirement as failure to produce one ,the child is turned away.Various social media platforms have created debates as some parents defend the move citing inflationary costs ,stationery ,payment of ancillary staff among other needs schools costs ,they absorb of behalf of paying and non paying parents,while some argue that education remains a basic human right that should be accessible to all children irregardless of different circumstances and backgrounds.The right to education is provided for under Section 75 of the Zimbabwean constitution that obliges the state to promote free and compulsory education for children ,by providing state funded basic education including adult basic education through putting in place reasonable legislation and other measures,further more the Education Act of 1987 stipulates that no child in Zimbabwe shall be refused admission to any school or be descriminated against by the imposition of terms and conditions in regard to his /her admission based on race ,tribe ,place of origin ,ethinic origion , political opinions among other issues.The right to education is also covered extensively in international law ,Universal Declaration of Human Rights ,article 26 provides that everyone has a right to education and that education shall be free at least in the elementary and fundamental stages ,whereas secondary education shall be available and accessible to every child.While school Heads and Schools Development Committees have been cited as violators of this basic human right they argue pointing fingers to the gorvenment failure in providing a grant that will cushion them in purchasing school needs and payment of local authority service charges ,electricity ,general maintenance of the infrastructure thus resorting to turning away defauters.Considering that these children come from different backgrounds such as child headed families , orphans,people with disabilities chances are high that they might fail to raise the required fees resulting in them dropping and resorting to other means of survival such as child labour , prostitution,farm labourers and early marriages.The responsibility has to lie with the State to ensure that adequate infrastructure,payment of fees ,providing teaching materials ,training of teachers is provided for so as to enable this basic right to be fully realized ,as turning away disadvantaged children is surely condemning them thier future will remain bleak as they are not empowered in any meangful survival skills.Legal recouse should in place to enable the rights holder to sue take their claim before an independent and impartial body ,if the claim is upheld be granted a remedy The writer is the Regional Officer of CCC Masvingo

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