The Inquirer is a leading independent daily newspaper published in Liberia, based in Monrovia. It is privately owned with a "good reputation".

Education Sets Up C’ttee To Probe Tuition Hike

By Bill W. Cooper

The Ministry of Education (MOE) has set up a 12-man taskforce headed by Telebee Kamara to speedily investigate the hiking of tuitions this academic year in various schools.

The taskforce which is made up of employees of the Ministry is to work closely with the County Education Officer and the District Education Officer to inspect other schools in the rural parts of the country which is expected to last for 21 days and also aimed at ‘prohibiting both public and private schools from exploiting school-going children and their struggling parents.’

Making the disclosure at the Ministry of Information (MICAT) regular press briefing yesterday, the head of the taskforce, Telebee Kamara noted that the taskforce set up by the Ministry will ensure that schools that have increased their tuitions more than what it was last academic year without any improvement in said institution will be fined by the Ministry or if possible restitute said amount.

According to Kamara, the inspection will mainly focus on private institutions, adding that private schools are those who normally increase their tuitions without any improvement of their schools, adding that some of the schools’ facilities are not conducive to enhance the students’ learning ego.

“Any public or private schools that will overcharge any parent will be fined or made to restitute said amount, because we are going to make sure we visit every school to ensure that no schools in the republic exploit any parents or even allow them to pay for any uniform forcefully as we have heard,” he added.

Kamara then indicated that fees for all public schools in the country are affordable, which he said from Grade One to Six is to pay the sum of LD$1,000, while Seven to Nine is LD$2,000 and Ten to Twelve is LD$3, 0000, stressing that if any public schools in the country that will add a cent to the fees of all public schools; said institution’s principal will be immediately fired by the Ministry as stated by the Acting Minister, Latim Dathong in one of his recent press conferences.

“Another thing is that before Minister Sonii traveled, he announced that no school should ever charge or force any parent to buy uniform from them, but we have realized that some schools are playing smart games, which many in their information booklets have created what we call ‘other fees’. Under that other fees, there you have uniform, socks, ties and other things but we will be unable to verify how much for each, but in other words they are selling uniforms and other school materials,” the taskforce head intimated.

He then urged parents to cooperate with the Ministry in order to expose any institution that is found in the hiking of tuitions, noting that said parents should take official receipts stamped by the institution to the Ministry as an evidence.

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