The Ministry of Basic Education (MOBE) has denied any knowledge of students who are unable to proceed with their education because of outstanding fees.
In a situation where a child is proceeding from junior secondary school to a senior secondary school, names and other information relating to the debt should be forwarded to the senior secondary school. The school where the child has been admitted will pursue the matter with the consenting parent,” she said. Makwinja added that it remains the responsibility of both the school head and regional directors to follow up with parents and collect money owed to the schools. She said the ministry had directed school heads through Directives and Savingrams to take heed of this issue and desist from denying students to obtain their certificates and testimonials.
Makwinja said they will orientate school heads because some of them get into these positions uninformed about such Directives. “It’s a challenge for us to go back and orientate our educators once again so that this issue raised by Moswaane never happens again,” she said. Moswaane said in January he complained about students who are denied letters of admission as a result of this. “We don’t know because the proof has not reached us. We don’t deny anything so if it has happened like you say, we apologise as a ministry,” Makwinja responded. Moswaane, among other things, wanted MoBE to explain the reasons for refusing to release admission letters to enable students to continue attending classes and if students are not being punished for their parents’ failures. Moswaane also asked if there are no means of holding parents accountable without disturbing the children’s education. In addition, Makwinja admitted that they still could not collect school fees because most of the parents take the issue lightly.
“We are facing a huge problem because it’s like the children are not theirs. We understand that some parents are disadvantaged but there are programmes at the Ministry of Local Government and Rural Development, which can help” Makwinja said. She added that they cannot write off these outstanding debts simply because other parents cannot pay. Tonota legislator Pono Moatlhodi blamed MoBE for putting the entire burden on itself by failing to take action against parents who fail to pay school fees. “Gagamaletsang batsadi ba di phogwana,” he said.