Public Schools in Malawi have dribbled past the Malawi Parliament by implementing the new school fees rates despite the latter’s stand that the fees should not be adjusted, we can report, although the Ministry of Education, Science and Technology has kept mum on the matter.
Schools have opened for Second term of 2015- 2016 Academic calendar on Monday January 4 2016, a date that the new fees was earmarked for implementation.
Those Nyasa Times have spoken to say that they are working within their mandate as they are using the memorandum that they received from the government, saying there is no other memorandum suggesting otherwise.
But we can also report that after Member of Parliament for Salima Central Felix Jumbe moved a motion stopping government from implementing the hiked fees in public Secondary Schools and Tertiary Institutions the matter was well supported and it was sustained.
Jumbe observed that the government can hold until the economic situation improves.
But during the debate in Parliament Minister of Justice and Constitutional Affairs Samuel Tembenu said parliamentarians went beyond their mandate in passing the motion and it is not known whether the stand by the schools bend on that statement.
Students who communicated to this publication said that they have been told that there is no change as there is no letter from the Ministry.
“We are told that just last week the Minister of Education, Science and Technology Dr Emmanuel Fabiano told a daily publication that Ministry officials were on holiday and a statement on the issue would be released after the holiday as such no person can revert what was communicated to the schools officially,” said a student in Nkhotakota.
Jumbe has said that it would be unrealistic for the government to demand more from the citizenry that is equally struggling economically.
He said: “If you ask the government to fund a certain project today, they will tell you that they have no money. So, it is the same thing with people. I don’t think it is fair to excessively demand from people what they cannot afford. The people of Malawi are getting impoverished at a very high rate and raising school fees in the current situation cannot be justified,” Jumbe said.
“Of course there are some people who do not accept reality. But the reality is, even if they raise the fees, some people will not be able to report for their studies. Maybe, it will be easy for the sons and daughters of ‘cashgaters’. But original Malawians, who work and get money out of integrity, will be unable to raise money for the hiked fees,” he said.
But Civil Society Education Coalition Executive Director Benedicto Kondowe was quoted saying that the government was justified to raise the fees given the current economic status, but needed to be careful on the magnitude of the increase.
The Ministry justified the hike saying it was aimed at improving the provision of various resources and services needed in the schools (improving the quality of education and service delivery).
In the statement the Ministry observed that the new fees will greatly assist schools to improve standards by providing adequate teaching and Learning materials to achieve the recommended pupil to textbook ratio of 1:1.
Here is the list of school fees:
There is no statement yet from the government but people have warned that should the government remain quiet the whole week, schools will be abandoned and the country would come to a stand still.Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :