Thursday, June 20, 2013 07:48
Concern Mounts Over High Tuition...But Education Says It Is Investigating The Matter
Story by Varney K. Sirleaf
There has been lots of public outcry since the Education Ministry announced the schedule of the new academic school year 2012/2013, following arbitrary increment of tuitions and activity fees by school administrators and proprietors across the country.
Speaking to the INQUIRER, most people, particularly parents who are civil servants complain that they might not afford to send their children to school this year because of the abrupt increment of tuitions by schools.
One of the parents who asked for anonymity said that it has been a tradition of schools in Liberia to increase tuitions every academic year without the Ministry of Education doing anything about it. “What is the government doing about the situation? Nothing,” he angrily said.
On various radio talk shows yesterday, the majority of the callers who phoned in during the programs expressed their frustration over the government's continuous silence on the issue raised by the citizenry. On one of the talk shows on Kings FM, the callers from diverse locations lamented on the deliberate increase of tuitions by schools, citing the issue of teachers' salary increment. “This is wickedness. Is this the government's Poverty Reduction Strategy (PRS) she always boast of?” another parent asked.
During our investigation, some parents even questioned the effectiveness of the Ministry of Education on some of these so called schools stating that they do not even deserve to exist as schools because of the poor facilities and learning conditions. “We don't think the Ministry of Education is really working. Look at some of the school buildings or campuses; they are not even worth to be places of learning,” they stated.
They further stated that they wonder as to whether the government's continuous silence on this issue could be the result of some of the officials in the Ministry being owners of these schools.
Another male parent with four children told this paper angrily that most of these government officials are the owners of these same private schools, so they will do anything to intensify the situation. Only the poor parents will suffer,” he explained in a sorrowful mood.
“We are all going to die finding tuitions for our children; the hard time in this country is getting out of hands; the President has to find an urgent solution to this serious situation,” a parent of five children stated.
In a sad mood, one of the female parents told the INQUIRER that she is to pay L$19,000 for a two-year old daughter minus requirement fees.
Meanwhile, Deputy Education Minister, Mator Kpangbai who was contacted yesterday by this paper said the matter is being investigated by the Ministry to establish why there has been an increase in tuitions across the country.
He said that the Ministry has received reports that many schools have increased their tuition from 50% -75% which the Ministry is concerned about and hopes that the schools can give good reasons.