Nqobile Tshili Chronicle Correspondent
THE Ministry of Primary and Secondary Education has given boarding schools the greenlight to send away pupils whose fees would not have been paid in full at the beginning of each school term. The Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Primary and Secondary Education, Sylvia Utete-Masango, said boarding schools are expensive to run and parents should meet their obligations before children can be allowed into class.
Utete-Masango said only day schools can allow parents to pay fees in tranches but there should be no payment plans for those in boarding schools as everything must be paid all at once. She said fees should be paid in full before a child is sent to a boarding school.
“They’ve to pay because a boarding school is a choice. I can decide as a parent that I don’t want my child to go to a day school but a boarding school. At a boarding school you must pay because they (children) must be fed and there are a lot of administrative costs that are incurred as well. The parent should be made to pay when they send their child to a boarding school,” she said.
Utete-Masango said those who cannot afford once-off payments should send their children to day schools where payment plans are accepted. “At a day school that’s where we’re saying there can be a payment plan. “If they’re having challenges they can then discuss with the school and come up with a payment plan. The school will then accommodate that,” said Utete-Masango.
She said the position had been communicated to schools as well as parents. Utete-Masango said this was not in violation of the Constitutional right to education as there is always a choice in day schools.
Previously, the government said schools should not chase away pupils but should deal with parents who would not have paid fees.