OPPOSITION Leader Matthew Wale has cautioned the government against paying what he described as “a lip service policy” on school fees for the 2021 academic year.
Wale’s call followed an announcement by the Ministry of Education and Human Resources that the government would soon be issuing policy directives to Education Authorities and schools to address the predicament faced by parents in meeting their children’s school fees this year.
“While I welcome this measure, it is clear and for obvious reasons, some schools are already standing their ground in demanding payment of school fees for the 2021 academic year as well as outstanding fees from 2020.
“We have to understand that schools need money to reopen and operate. The school fees policy must address that need head-on. Advisories from the government are simply inadequate,” Hon Wale said.
The Opposition Leader pointed out that school fee has been a serious concern for parents and guardians for some time and now with schools still maintaining their stance, the situation may now give rise to unwanted decisions being made and outcomes affecting the education of our children.
“These are difficulties that should have been foreseen and could have been averted had the government taken action much earlier.
“Also, if the policy is really intended to address the problems, it must be accompanied by tangible steps put in place to secure the required level of financial support.
“Anything less may well be counter-productive only adding to a situation that is already untenable for all concerned.
“I, therefore, call on the government to also take the required steps now that the announcement has been made, to ensure that all our children continue their education in 2021 without any more hick-ups.
“I call on the government to make this issue a priority by making available the necessary financial support,” the Opposition Leader said.