Parents cry over failure by Govt schools to reduce fees

THE move by some schools in Lusaka not to adhere to the directive by the Minister of General Education, Dr John Phiri, to reduce tuition fees has angered parents who have challenged the Government to look into the issue and ensure that the fees are reduced.

The parents have said that some schools in the district were still charging the high fees which were there before the ministry announced the reduction.

They said the announcement by the Ministry of Education to reduce the tuition fees was a campaign gimmick for the August 11 general elections.

The parents said it was unfortunate the ministry wanted to politicize such important issues that pertain to the education of young people in the country.

Martin Mbulo of Kamwala area said that the fees have not reduced and pupils were still paying the same amount of money they were charged before the ministry announced the reduction.

Mr Mbulo said education was an important sector and should not be tempered with.

He said the minister gave a directive but failed to make a followup to know if the schools had reduced the fees.

‘’Some schools have defied the directive by Education minister John Phiri to reduce tuition fees and with the current economic state, it is hard for some parents to send their children to school. As parents the issue of tuition fees is of great concern to us because we understand the challenges we go through just to pay these fees,’’ he said.

Mr Mbulo said it had been months since the ministry gave the directive to have tuition fees for all Government schools  reduced but some schools had defied the order.

Jessica Shindano of Chilenje township said parents had been complaining that most schools in the district had failed to adhere to the directive because the ministry had not made any effort to follow up the matter.

Ms Shindano said the matter of school fees needed serious attention and extra efforts by the ministry to ensure that all schools implemented the directive.

‘’The reason why the schools are reluctant to reduce school fees is because the Ministry of Education has not bothered to go round and check on whether the schools are following the directive or not,’’ he said.

Ministry of Education spokesperson Hillary Chipango has called on members of the public to report all cases of schools that had defied the Government directive to reduce tuition fees.

Mr Chipango said that it was unfortunate that some school administrations were bent on tarnishing the name of the ministry.

He said the directive to reduce school fees was for all Government schools as such all the schools should adhere to the directive.

The ministry would not hesitate to deal with any school reported not to have complied with the Government directive.

‘’If as a ministry, we receive the names of the schools that have not reduced school fees, we will take action against them without fail,’’ he said.

– Millennium Radio

90.5 FM