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Sep 8, 2014

Education Minister Says Arbitrary Raise in School Fees Wrong!

Earlier in our newscast we showed you Minister of Education Patrick Faber on the hot seat. He was at a media breakfast which was organized last week to deal with all manner of education issues across the spectrum – from vocational education to school fees, from school transport to books. The breakfast started an hour late, and lasted about two hours. We picked out a few of the more important issues, like school fees. Those fees go in one direction – always up…and we pay them. But are we being fleeced? Minister of Education Patrick Faber says maybe we are, because no school is authorized to raise fees without the permission of the Ministry of Education.

 

Patrick Faber, Minister of Education

Patrick Faber

“We are trying to impress on people that you can’t just raise these fees…and that in many instances it is because we don’t have proper management, and we‘re not using the funds properly…we’re not insisting for instance that fees are paid. We’re not trying to find creative ways of collecting those fees that are paid to the school, and the easiest thing to do is to raise the fees. So this is an easy way out, and we are saying to the school leaderships – that can’t be the way out. You cannot continue to burden the parents, burden even the taxpayers…because when government puts in place its initiatives it would seem logical that there would be some kind of ease. For instance the three hundred dollar subsidy, the free textbook program…you would think that there would be some kind of ease on the parents but to some people it would seem that the minute the government gives some kind of ease the schools take it back. And again I want to be careful of those comments but this is how it seems to a lot of people and sometimes to us as well. So I am asking the schools’ cooperation…in fact it is against the regulations for you to increase the fees for your school without the permission of the Ministry of Education.”

 

School fees should range from between ten to fifteen dollars per year in some rural areas to one hundred and fifty dollars per year.

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Viewers please note: This Internet newscast is a verbatim transcript of our evening television newscast. Where speakers use Kriol, we attempt to faithfully reproduce the quotes using a standard spelling system.

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