Government schools tying the buying of uniforms from their institutions as condition for enrollment have been warned against the practice, Ministry of General Education public relations officer Hilary Chipango has said.
He said no Government school administration should base the buying of uniforms with enrolment as it disadvantaged some pupils from getting an education.
Mr Chipango was responding to reports about some public school administrations that have been asking parents of grade one enrolments to buy school uniforms including physical education attire from the institution as part of the enrolment package.
“Parents have an option of choosing where to buy school uniforms for their children, and not to be forced to buy from a particular institution as part of enrolment. “School administrations should not tie buying of uniforms with enrolment, it is wrong,” he said.
Mr Chipango explained that in fact, in case of Zambia it was not mandatory that pupils must wear uniforms. He said wearing of uniforms was only allowed as a form of identity and standardization for schools to request uniform dress.
Some schools have continued to demand that parents bought school uniforms from particular schools if their children where to be enrolled.
Some parents who enrolled their children for grade one were forced to buy uniforms, which were usually highly priced from particular schools.
Some schools have been charging as much as K180 for a pair of uniform which could be bought at between K30 and K50 from local tailors around the compounds.
Some private tailors have also complained of loss of business because school administrators have monopolized the supply of the attires by engaging their relatives or even their own businesses to manufacture the uniforms.
Last year, Ministry of Education instructed all government schools to stop selling uniforms which were normally at very high prices as it contradicted the Government policy of providing free education for all.
Mr Chipango has since appealed to members of the public to report schools demanding that parents buy uniforms from them as a prerequisite for enrolment because it was not mandatory.