Care-taker Minister for Education and Human Resource Development, Dick Ha’amori says school fee increases or changes which are not authorised by the Ministry of Education is illegal.
Mr Ha’amori made the statement in Parliament before the House dissolved last week, during a question-answer session on the government’s Fee Free Basic Education policy.
He told Parliament any changes in the rate of school fees must be signed off by the Education Ministry – if not, the fees are illegal.
“School fees according to the current Act, must be signed off by the Minister of Education before they are legal. A lot of people seem to wake up one morning and just go ahead with charging school fees, this action is illegal. During my time sitting down in that office I hardly see any papers on my table so I could authorize any school fee to be paid, but I know that almost every year school fees have changed. Who authorized them? By law it is improper and is not right. I point this out while we are on this subject.”
The care taker Minister for Education added, education authorities should understand the School must notify the Ministry of its changes.
“The definition we should understand especially education authorities listening now, school fee is a fee paid for the school and it is made up of so many things but they are all school fees, so if you charge it for a building at the school or for cleaning up the school compound, because it doesn’t specifically mentioned tuition, boarding fees and such, no, it said school fee, so any fee charged for the school is a school fee. So properly it should be notified to the Ministry.”
Care-taker Minister Ha’amori said the Ministry continues to address some of these issues.