Juba: 3 schools on the spot over charging illegal fees
Although the government is footing the costs of education, some administrators in Juba are in the spotlight for imposing fees on learners, the education ministry said.
Last month, President Salva Kiir directed relevant government ministries to ensure that primary and secondary education is free across the country.
Subsequently, the finance ministry announced that it would pay the first tranche of the capitation grant amounting to SSP 1 billion to public schools to facilitate the free education program.
Speaking at a press conference in Juba on Tuesday, Minister of General Education Awut Deng Achuil said they have found three schools in Juba still demanding fees from learners in the name of parents’ contribution fees.
“It has come to our notice that some schools continue to charge parents the so-called ‘parents’ contribution fees’. For example, reports indicated that parents in some schools in Juba, such as Atlabara East Primary School, Malakia Primary School and Juba One Girls’ Primary School, paid between 30,000 SSP to 35,000 SSP per child,” Awut said.
The national minister underscored that charging school fees is illegal and directed all the public school administrators who took money from parents in Juba and elsewhere to reimburse it immediately.
“These payments are illegal and unauthorized. I, therefore, direct the head teachers of these schools and any other schools in the country that took money to return it to the parents immediately,” she said.
“More importantly, all state schools should refrain from demanding money from the parents. I also urge the state ministries of education to ensure that the presidential order is fully implemented. Action will be taken against any head teacher who demands payment from parents or school children,” she added.
Awut also urged the parents to cooperate with the authorities by not paying any fees demanded by public school administrators except for other requirements such as uniforms and textbooks.
“The parents themselves have to comply with the law. You have heard clearly from the president that no fees should be charged,” Awut said.” Take your child to school. You are not supposed to be asked to pay; if you are asked, state the law that you are not supposed to pay.”
Meanwhile, Deputy Minister of General Education Martin Tako Moi said they are in the process of paying the capitation grant as part of the government’s contribution to the running cost of public schools across the country.
The deputy minister pointed out that they are verifying the public schools registered by the national ministry.