Public schools in Kalabo district have resolved not to increase user fees for the 2018 academic year citing widespread poverty among households.
Passing the resolution at Kalabo High School during an Annual General Meeting for Head-teachers, school representatives, observed that the non-increment of fees would enable vulnerable learners pursue education amidst financial inadequacy and acquire life skill knowledge.
According to submissions presented, Muyumbana Basic continue to offer the lowest user fees at K100 per annum while Nang’umba and Nalionwa Basic Schools top the fee chart at K300 and K255 per annum, respectively.
During the same resolution, Kalabo High School maintained K900 per term for boarders and K300 for day scholars while Nalionwa Day yet again tagged K350 per term.
Meanwhile, Lukona High presented K850 term fees for boarders, K455 for day scholars and reduced junior day scholar fees from K455 to K135 citing deliberate intervention to compete favourably among other schools and ultimately woe learners.
And responding to the resolution not to increase the 2018 user fees, Kalabo District Commissioner Fridah Luhila advised schools to consider revising the fees and take into account failure by many learners to afford paying current fees due to poverty.
Mrs. Luhila noted that it is the responsibility of government to offer universal free education to learners and that public schools must apply reasonable and affordable fees as per government policy.
Her advice came in the wake of revelation that only about 30 percent of learners at Nalionwa Basic and several other schools afford to pay user fees due to poverty and young parenthood among families.
She urged schools to emulate Muyumbana and Nan’ole basic schools for having harnessed the availability of abundant land and water resources to venture into farming projects in a bid to earn income to fund extra curriculum school requirements instead of imposing unrealistic user fees on burdened parents.