The Ministry of Primary and Secondary Education has warned private schools conducting online lessons and charging exorbitant fees without approval that they are breaking the law.
The Ministry’s permanent secretary Tumisang Thabela urged parents and guardians to report such schools so that authorities take appropriate action. She said:
They (private schools) should accept that they are under the ministry why do they behave as if there is another ministry that they report to? No one would have it their way, we will get people into their lane. All we are saying is let’s talk together and let’s get things done the right way.
Parents should report these schools to the ministry so that we investigate but the problem we are having with some of their reports is that they are just generalised.
We have told the private schools that if they want to teach online classes they must apply to the ministry, tell us what is happening and we evaluate their product. They are expected to indicate if there will be a cost and how much needs to be charged. If we agree with their proposal, we can allow them to charge the cost.
Parents with children in some of the private schools are not happy that the institutions are disregarding the government’s directives.
They said they welcome online teaching but are burdened by the exorbitant fees being demanded by schools considering that they have to bear additional costs like buying data and computers.