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GeneralLiberia news

School Principals want permit fees reduced 

By: Emmanuel wise Jipoh 

The National Association of Liberian School Principals and National Association of Private School Owners of Liberia are appealing to the Government of Liberia through the Ministry of Education to reduce permit fees for private schools operating across the country.

According to the association, the exorbitant fees charged by the government have led hack in tuition, posing burden on parents and hindering the growth of the education sector of Liberia.

Addressing reporters here Tuesday, 20th February 2024 at the Vine Christian International School’s premises in Paynesville, shortly after private school principals and school owners held a daylong meeting, brainstorming on challenges confronting them, Dr. Benjamin Yele Wehye, President of the National Association of Liberian School Principals and head of the LICOSESS Teacher Training College, pleaded with the government to consider reduction of permit fees that will help curtail hack in tuitions by some institutions.

Dr. Wehye said the outright request if considered and done by the Ministry of Education, will curtail irregularities in fees that have caused corresponding increments in tuition.

He accused the previous administration specifically, District Education Officers (DEOs) for the exorbitant fees charged for permits from as low as 3,500 Liberian dollars for elementary schools, 6,000 Liberian dollars for junior high schools, and 8,000 Liberian dollars for secondary schools to now more than US$240 plus $50 for assessment.

“We as Administrations of public and private schools are deeply concerned about the irregularities of permit fees and how was the permit conducted because some schools pay 42,000, some pay 80,000 Liberian Dollars, while others pay 240 + 50 United States Dollars, and how it contributes to the Ministry of Education for the welfare of schools, when we don’t receive chalk, sheets, and absolutely nothing as subsidy”, he wonders.

Dr. Wehye calls on the new Minister of Education, Dr. Jarso Maley Jallah, to audit financial transactions between schools and the previous CDC-led Administration, including remittances collected through Mobile Money from several public schools without any subsidy from the government.

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He said an audit will help address challenges that have led increment in tuition and enhance capacity and growth of schools.

He wants permit fees set at 10,000 Liberian Dollars for elementary schools, 15,000 Liberian for junior high schools, and 30,000 Liberian Dollars, which he says are enough to contribute to government revenues.

In related development, at least 504 students will this Saturday, 24 February 2024 graduate from the LICOSESS Teacher’s Training College in Paynesville after completion of studies at the college.

According to Dr. Wehye of that number, 90 candidates will for the first time be graduating with bachelor’s degree in teacher’s training since the school was elevated to a Bachelor’s degree program, while 73 others will be graduating with Associate degrees under the sponsorship USAID TESTS program. Editing by Jonathan Browne

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