The Ministry of Education, Science and Technology has made some changes on fees paid in both secondary schools and public universities.
Changes that are with immediate effect in the 2015/2016 academic year, includes abolishing of sponsorship towards students pursuing studies in public universities.
Lonely Magreta, Secretary for Education, Science and Technology, announced the changes on Saturday in Lilongwe, at a news conference.
She said school fees at the three levels; Secondary, Tertiary and High Level education were unrealistic and too little hence the need for cost sharing since “Government resource envelope cannot suffice to meet all the requirements.”
Secretary for Education then expressed hope that new changes will improve the quality of education and help to make available of all necessary resources in education.
Secondary School fees
Mainly, public secondary school tuition fees per term have been revised from K500 to K3,000 and other changes are on Textbook Revolving Fund now at K3,000, General Purpose Fund at K2,000, MCDE module fee MK1,000 and Centre fee at K7,000 (for Open Secondary Schools) and Development Fund is now at K2,000 which in the past varied between different schools depending on the project being undertaken in a particular school.
From the new figures, the total amount of money to be paid as school fees per term will be seen to be higher due to major changes made on boarding fees.
National Government Secondary Schools boarding fees have been revised from K1,500 to K25,000 whereas National Grant Aided Secondary Schools boarding fees has been slightly changed from K55 to K65 thousand.
District Boarding Secondary School boarding fees are now at ranges of K35,000 to K40,000 and this change also applies to District and Community Day Secondary Schools that have partial boarding facilities (girls hostels)
Magreta said the standardization of boarding fees is a response to concerns raised by parents over the increase in the price of goods and services on the open market.
She said the Ministry has therefore raised boarding fees to enable schools to run boarding facilities effectively and also to bring about uniformity in fees charged across schools as well ad improve the diet.
Now, total amount of school fees would be K35,000 for National Secondary schools, K75,000 for National Grant Aided Secondary Schools and K35,000 to K50,000 for District Secondary Schools (similarly to District and Community Day Secondary schools with girls hostels).
But, fees at District and Community Day Secondary Schools will be at K10,000 while Open Day Secondary School, fees will be K12,000.
Changes in colleges
The Secretary for Ministry of Education said Government has abolished programme of selecting Government sponsored students in all public universities.
She therefore said all students will be required to pay amount of tuition fees payable for similar programmes.
Government sponsored students who were getting up keep allowance, paid K55,000 per year a lesser tuition fees than self sponsored students who were required to pay K275,000 per year.
“The previous arrangements of having Government sponsored and Self sponsored students was a recipe for disaffection amongst students and created unfortunate impression that some students were more favoured by Government than others,” said Magreta but noted that Government sponsored students who were enrolled in Public Universities during the past years up to 2014 will still be eligible to receive upkeep allowances until they complete their studies.
She said this also applies to Domasi College of Education and in the case of Domasi, the revision of tuition fees is aimed at bringing about parity.
“Before the revision, the College had Government sponsored students who were paying K1,500 per year for either a Diploma or Degree course whereas self sponsored students were paying K180,000 for a Diploma course and K220,000 for a Degree course. The revision of fees has removed discrimination in the fee structure.
“After all, students who graduate with either diplomas or degrees from Domasi College of Education are employed in the public service on equal terms with those who graduate with diplomas and degrees from other Public Institutions of Higher Learning,” she explains
“The potency of Government to provide its citizens with either heavily subsidized or virtually free secondary, tertiary and higher education is increasingly becoming less tenable in the face of a limited resource envelope and competing priorities. This trend is not only evolving in Malawi but also in many countries in the world,” said the Secretary for Education.
“Government has a choice of either having education system which is under resourced and uncompetitive or very well resourced through the co-sharing of costs between Government and individual beneficiaries. Any well meaning Malawian will choose the latter. That is the direction that the Malawi Government has taken while at the same time ensuring that needy students are not left behind in their quest for quality education,” explains Magreta.
Magreta has indicated that students who will not be able to pay the revised fees in Secondary Schools, will continue to be assisted by Government to access bursaries.
Needy students who will be selected to pursue courses at Domasi College of Education and those pursing courses at both Public and Private Universities, will be eligible to apply for recently introduced Higher Education Students’ Loans and Grants which are being managed and administered by Higher Education Students’ Loans and Grant.Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :