Every since I was in Secondary School each school opening day the government has been trying to control school fees hikes. The only time they didn’t do this was during the Government of National Unity days. They often try to compel schools to seek permission from the relevant ministry, mostly the Ministries of Primary and Secondary Education (MoPSE) and Ministry of Higher and Tertiary Education. They are at it again it seems. The Sunday Mail reports the government wants schools to seek government approval if they intend to hike school fees during the 2022 school calendar.

Parents and the schools must have school development plans and budgets every year. They put the budget proposals, including any proposed school fees adjustments, to a vote and they come up with a consensus on whether to adust school fees.

They then approach the Ministry with that adjust ment proposal for the Ministry to validate or approve that agreed option. So what the Ministry does is to endorse an already agreed position between the parents and the school.

Where you have issues of parents complaining, it is either perhaps they have not attended the meeting or they were outvoted.

We don’t imose any school fees structure on any school.

Mr T Ndoro MoPSE Educaiton director.

In most cases “parents” arent’ really parents but rather members of the PTA board or something similar and depending on the school in question they may or may not be representative of all parents. This often leads to nasty fights and public disputes as a lot of parents would rather have the fees unchanged even in cases where the country is going through steep inflation.

Also most parents do not understand the process. They are fooled by the government’s demands that each fee hike must be approved. They don’t know that more often than not the government simply rubber stands what the schools present before it. In cases where they don’t schools often go ahead and hike the fees anyway. This is because in most instances the hike is actually required for the school lin question to remain afloat. This is often true if the school lis a boarding school.

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