Rural based parents can have the option of offering something ‘in kind’ if they don’t have enough cash to complete their children’s tuition for this year.
This was highlighted by the Minister of Education and Human Resources Development (MEHRD) Lanelle Tanangada in an exclusive interview with the paper, Wednesday night.
She said, parents living in the rural areas will be given a flexible option to pay for their children’s education.
Minister Tanangada highlighted this after many rural parents have been faced with financial difficulties to earn an income as result of COVID-19.
Ministry of Education this week has a released a new subsidized school fee for this year for primary, junior and senior secondary schools.
Since the Covid-19 outbreak early this year, a number of lockdowns and curfews were imposed. As a result a number of travel restrictions for ship, aircrafts and people have been imposed.
As a result many rural parents were unable to access the markets to their fish, timbers, copra, cocoa, vegetables, fruits and many more.
Even now, some parents are unlikely to send their children to school until next year due to financial constraints.
Because of this challenge Minister Tanangada said, the option of paying school fees in cash or in kind offers an opportunity for parents to meet school fee obligation.
“It simply means if any rural parents cannot afford certain amount to complete their children’s school fee on time, they can either apply the traditional barter system. This is the definition for the ‘kind’ offer.
“An example is, if a parent cannot able complete a certain amount of the fee of $200, the parent can at least offer some timbers worth that amount that can add value to complete a staff house or any contribution that can reach the fixed amount.
“This can occur if a parent did not have any money to complete the fee. So it’s like we are applying our old barter system.”
She said, unlike schools in the urban areas they will depend on how they can manage such issue.
Minister Tanagada added, with the new fee charges that have been regulated by the ministry for schools as, she hopes that this arrangement will really help all the parents a lot that are living in the rural areas.
She added at the moment most education authorities are submitting their request under their school authority to agree on a certain amount of fees to be charged this year.
“And if it is within the right range then it will be signed and endorsed straight away,” she said.
Meanwhile, most of the schools in Western Province have undergone registration and classes.