The government has given schools the go-ahead to raise schools fees. This comes as most schools have sought to hike fees citing a tough operating environment characterised by an increase in the price of goods and services.
Towards the end of the last term, some schools hiked fees to astronomical levels, a move condemned by both parents and educators. This prompted the Minister of Primary and Secondary Education, Paul Mavima to direct schools to reverse the fee hikes. Said Mavima:
Those who had already increased their fees for next year… this will be revoked as they have to follow the procedure of applying for the increment.
However, schools can raise fees as long as they follow the laid down procedure. The permanent secretary in the Ministry of Education, Tumisang Thabela on Thursday wrote a circular to schools pertaining to the issue of raising school fees. The circular reads as follows in part:
Statutory Instrument (SI) 1597A of 2007 gives the official requirements for the approval of fees. It recognised that the level of fees and levies charged reflect the economic environment and in the case of some schools, significant revenue is required following the withdrawal of the Government Teachers Grant to schools that previously received them.
In light of the above, schools that wish to increase fees and levies need to submit their applications to the Secretary for Primary and Secondary Education and approval has to be received by the schools before any increases are effected.
In order for the secretary to appreciate the basis upon which the levies are calculated, schools need to submit together with the application, the following: current audited accounts, minutes of a properly constituted meeting of no less than 20% of the school parents assembly, proposed budget.