State u-turns on private school fees

THE revised registration fees for private schools have been suspended because they had no legal backing, Education, Science, Vocational Training and Early Education Minister Michael Kaingu has announced.

The revised fees, which were effective this monthend were pegged at K6000 for application and inspection for early childhood schools, while K8000 was for primary schools, and K10 000 for secondary schools. The annual renewals fee was pegged at K500.

All schools have now reverted to the old fee of K400.

Dr Kaingu said following the confusion over the private school fees, the ministry decided to suspend the new fees.

He said Government was in the process of issuing a Statutory Instrument that would guide private schools operations.

Dr Kaingu said the new fees had no legal backing which was a requirement for guidance.

“We have suspended the payments for the registration of private schools until further notice. The ministry is in the process of issuing a Statutory Instrument that will give guidance,” he said.

Recently, private school owners expressed concern at the huge increase in the annual registration fees and had called on Government to intervene before they faced closure. And private schools have expressed happiness with the decision made by the ministry to suspend the new registration and annual fees. Kitwe’s private school owner Murray Sanderson thanked the Ministry of Education for addressing the concerns of the private schools.

Mr Sanderson said most of the private schools risked closure due to the huge fees.  “We are happy with the ministry for the step that they have taken to suspend the new fees and revert to the old fees which are affordable,” he said.

The Ministry of Education recently announced that it had taken over the registration of private schools from the Teaching Council of Zambia.


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