THE newly-introduced registration fees for privately-owned schools by the Teaching Council of Zambia has raised concern among Patriotic Front leaders in Mazabuka.
PF Mazabuka district chairperson, Moses Ngosa, observed that the fees introduced by the council were exorbitant and not affordable for the majority of those running 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 was welcome, the fees were 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 was too short considering the amounts of money 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 for 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 had received a complaint from the Mazabuka private schools Association bemoaning the manner in which the fees had been introduced.
He said the association has among other things complained over the short notice that they have been given as well as the fees which they have described as exorbitant.
Mr Ngosa appealed to Government to consider adjusting the fees downwards, saying private schools were panicking.
He said everything possible should be done to prevent them from closing their institutions due to failure to raise the required amounts.