Ministry of Education, Science and Technology (MoEST) announced on Tuesday that government has abolished fees in public secondary schools which is currently at K500 per studentwith immediate effect.
Minister of Education Bright Msaka said at at anew conference in Lilongwe that the tuition fees have been abolished with immediate effect but the general purpose fund and the text book fund will be abolished effect January 1, 2019.
Msaka said President Peter Mutharika being a global champion of education wishes to give all the children of Malawi the opportunity to access secondary education.
“Through government the President is removing all barriers that impede our children from accessing secondary education,” he said.
Msaka said with the removal of the fees, government will not collect any monetary contributions from students.
“As regards examination fees that is collected by Malawi National Examination Board (MANEB), I wish to inform you that it will continue to be collected from all candidates,” explained the Minister of Education.
Msaka said boarding fees remain payable by all borders to cater for food and other expenses associated with the residents of the school.
“I am happy to report therefore that in doing this His Excellency Prof. Arthur Peter Mutharika is also answering to sustainable Development Goals 4.1 which seeks to ensure among other things, that children from deprived homes have access to education,” he said.
However, he pointed out that from time to time, communities identify some projects for schools and they need contributions from the people.
“For example, they want to sink a borehole worth K60 000, t hey are allowed to collect the contributions. But these contributions should stop after the project,” he said.
He said government encourages such local participation and the schools may collect from the parents an amount needed by the school according to the guidelines set by the Ministry.
The minister, however urged communities to utilize constituency development fund, local development fund and the district development fund for school projects instead of forcing communities make contributions.
Msaka said poor parents should not be overburdened with projects that can be resourced from the Districts.
He also said all needy students who cannot afford boarding fees should go to their nearest district education office which will allocate them places in community day secondary schools.
However, some education experts say the move to abolish the fees in secondary schools is a recipe for low standard of education in secondary schools.
Civil Society Education Coalition (Csec) executive director Benedicto Kondowe warned against the move by government, saying government should have consulted first before making the announcement.
There are concerns that education standards in primary schools remain the lowest in the Sadc after government decision to abolish fees in 1994.
The Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) is facing a contentious election in 2019 following the emergence of the United Transformation Movement (UTM) which has changed the political landscape.Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :