Mazabuka, March 2, ZANIS———–The Patriotic Front in Mazabuka district has expressed concern over the newly-introduced registration fees for privately-owned schools by the Teaching Council of Zambia, describing them as too high.
PF District Chairperson, Moses Ngosa, observed that the fees introduced by the council are exorbitant and not affordable for the majority of those running the private schools.
Mr Ngosa noted that while the move taken by government to shift the administration and management of private schools from the Ministry of Education to the Teaching Council is welcome, the fees are too high.
He told ZANIS in an interview that the deadline given by the council to proprietors of private learning institutions to pay the fees is too short considering the amounts of money that are involved.
According to a letter dated February 3, 2015, written by Southern Province Education Officer, Stephen Chishiko to all District Board Secretaries, all private learning institutions should ensure that they pay registration and renewal fees by March 31, 2015.
According to the letter, early education schools are required to pay K2, 500 as Application or Inspection Fees and K3, 500 as Registration Fees while primary schools will pay K3, 500 for inspection and K5, 500 will go towards registration.
Secondary schools will now be expected to pay K4, 500 as application or inspection fees and K5, 500 will be paid for registration with K2, 000 being penalty fee at every level.
Mr Ngosa said his office has received a complaint from the Mazabuka Private Schools Association bemoaning the manner in which the fees have been introduced.
He said the association has among other things complained over the short notice that they have been given in order to make payments as well as the fees which they have described as exorbitant.
He has since appealed government to help consider adjusting the fees downwards, saying private schools are panicking and everything possible should be done to prevent them from closing their institutions due to failure to raise the required amounts.
Mr Ngosa stated that once private schools close, it will put pressure on government to make sure that every child has the right to education and will increase corruption in government schools.