Zim parents who fail to send children to school could face jail time
Pretoria – Parents depriving their children of education in Zimbabwe can now be fined or jailed for up to two years under the new Education Amendment Act, state media reported on Monday.
The Herald newspaper reported that it was now compulsory for all children to attend school from early childhood development level (ECD), followed by Grade One until Form Four. It said every child in Zimbabwe was entitled to basic state-funded education and parents depriving their children would be guilty of an offence.
The maximum fine for parents found guilty is ZW$4 800 (about R210), or up to two years’ imprisonment. Magistrates have discretion to impose lighter fines or lower jail terms, depending on mitigating and aggravating circumstances.
The southern African nation previously had a non-mandatory clause that stated compulsory primary education was an objective and parents had a duty to send their children to primary school.
Zimbabwe's education system now consists of ECD, seven years of primary and six years of secondary school before students can enter university. A learner can exit secondary school after four years. The academic year runs from January to December, with three month school terms broken up by month-long holidays.
African News Agency/ANA