The BBC reports that parents in Zimbabwe who cannot afford school fees can offer livestock such as goats or sheep as payment.
The country’s education minister Lazarus Dokora said that schools will have to show flexibility when it comes to demanding tuition fees from parents, and that they should accept not only livestock, but also services and skills. “If there is a builder in the community, he/she must be given that opportunity to work as a form of payment of tuition fees.”
A ministry official clarified Dr Dokora’s comments: “Parents of the concerned children can pay the fees using livestock. That is mostly for rural areas, but parents in towns and cities can pay through other means; for instance, doing certain work for the school.”
It follows a move last week where Zimbabwe allowed people to use their livestock, such as goats, cows and sheep, to back bank loans.
Social media has met the goats-for-fees idea with a mixture of scorn and gallows humour. While a Twitter user – recognising the fact that not all farm animals are born equal – asked “Can I get a job as a goat evaluator?”
We may laugh but is trading skills for an education such a bad idea? Please tell us your thoughts in the comments or on Twitter ~ Tamsin
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