Finance , Economic Planning and Development minister Goodall Gondwe has sharply contradicted his Education ministry counterpart Bright Msaka on who ordered the sudden abolition of tuition fees in secondary schools.
Gondwe told the media on Thursday that it was the US government which ordered the abolition of the K1 500 tuition fee, K1 500 general purpose fund and K250 book fund in return for the construction of 230 secondary school across the country.
“The decision to abolish the tuition fees follows heavy investment by the US government of K6.6 billion to construct over 200 secondary schools across the country,” he said.
He said the US government gave a condition that the schools could only be constructed if the tuition fees were abolished to enable needy and vulnerable but deserving students continue with their education without any hindrance.
“People are just policitising this issue, it is not the government decision although we had it in our 2014 manifesto,” he said.
He said the government was failing to implement the campaign promise because of lack of funds.
However, this week, Msaka said that President Peter Mutharika had ordered the abolition of the fees.
He said it is the wish of Mutharika to see each deserving student in secondary school.
But Irish ambassador to Malawi Gerald Cunningham said the decision to abolish the fees will have huge negative effect on the quality of education in secondary schools.