Amb. Neufville wants school fees reduced, writes Education Minister Sonii
By Lewis S. Teh
People Action Network (PAN) a civil society organization urges the Minister of Education Prof. Ansu Sonii to dialogue with private school proprietors to address arbitrary hikes in school tuition.
“This unfortunate situation has evolved over the past three academic years, imposing extreme hardship on struggling parents and guardians” PAN notes.
Speaking with this paper exclusively on Saturday, September 3, executive director Ambassador Rufus Neufville said he has written the Ministry of Education, calling Minister Sonii’s attention to the arbitrary hike in tuition by school owners, something he says, has imposed extreme hardship on struggling parents.
“To help struggling parents, who can’t afford to pay their children’s fees, we recommend that you dialogue with schools to discourage the unreasonable and arbitrary hike in tuition and fees”, he pleads.
He also calls on the Ministry of Education to encourage private schools that enroll students in the country to accept first payment of at least 25% while balance fees are paid in three additional installments, saying officials of the MOE should further adjust the date for the reopening of schools on grounds that the first two weeks in September seem to conflict with ongoing graduation exercises of many schools.
He argues that under the laws of Liberia, government through the Ministry of Education is responsible to regulate school activities across the country.
Amb. Neufville says though government can’t impose on private school owners what fees to charge, it can intervene thru dialogue that he believes will bring solutions to the problem.
For any school to increase tuition, such decision should meet the acquiesces of the Minister of Education or acknowledge about said decision.”
He maintains that this is necessary to avoid arbitrary hikes in fees and tuition and wonders what are the basis for said increment of fees by private school authorities.
“We understand that things are tough, but don’t forget it’s national government that provided you the space to operate, and as such, any decision to increase fees must meet the approval of the Ministry of Education.
Meanwhile, Amb. Neufville, also a former thanks the education ministry for efforts in improving the educational system, especially payment of WASSCE fees and nationwide deployment of 200 female guidance counselors in public schools. Editing by Jonathan Browne