Ministry of Education, Science and Technology (MoEST) has said it will resume collecting of tuition fees from all secondary schools in the next two weeks, but the official announcement of the exact dates will be made within the week.
In an interview yesterday, MoEST Principal Secretary Justin Saidi said government has resolved the challenges that led to government’s decision to put the fees collection on hold.
He said: “We just suspended the collection of tuition fees. There were some problems we were taking care of, we have finalised resolving those problems and I can confirm that we will announce the resumption within the week.”
Two weeks ago, government issued a directive for all secondary schools to not receive tuition fees payments, which is currently at K500 per student.
The announcement drew mixed reactions from civil society and the public at large who argued government should have explained reasons for the suspension of tuition fees payment.
Government maintained that it did not suspend the payment but just delayed in collecting it.
The Parliamentary Committee on Budget and Finance has since said the announcement has shown laxity in government and that Cabinet is clueless in the running of the country’s affairs.
Last week, the committee met Ministry of Education, Science and Technology officials to discuss tuition fees delay whose announcement, the committee argued, was made without following Public Finance Management Act.
Committee chairperson Rhino Chiphiko said the announcement by the ministry reflects laxity in government’s handling of matters of national concern.
He said: “That money is important, it goes to Account Number one and it does a lot of things. How can a ministry single-handedly make that decision without informing the Secretary to the Treasury? It shows lack of coordination,” he said.
Chiphiko advised Treasury to caution ministries and give them proper guidance on public finance management.
Civil Society Education Coalition (Csec) executive director Benedicto Kondowe warned against the move by government to delay payment of tuition fees in all secondary schools, saying it would cause chaos.
In an interview with The Nation after the ministry issued the directive, Kondowe said government should have consulted first before making the announcement.