MAHALAPYE: Assistant minister Botlogile Tshireletso says the recent government directive that schools should release certificates to students on completion of their studies does not absolve parents from their responsibility to settle school fees.
Addressing the school heads at Pekenene Junior Secondary last Friday, Local Government and Rural Development Planning assistant minister and Member of Parliament for Mahalapye East said it was disheartening to see “pain, stress and emotional torture” some learners were subjected to because of parents reneging on their responsibilities.
“I have seen very brilliant students who have performed well in their examinations, missing opportunities to further their studies just because their ignorant parents could not comply with paying school fees,” she said.
“In such cases, there is no need to punish students for the irresponsibility of their parents. The children have been brought to school by their parents and their role is simply to make sure they heed teachers’ instructions and perform well in their studies. The rest is a parental responsibility,” added the assistant minister.
Tshireletso said the recent directive from the Ministry of Education forbidding the retention of certificates over non-settlement of school fees, was in pursuit of the Vision 2016 pillar of building an educated and informed nation.
“However, this does not nullify the fact that school fees have to be paid and the correct school procedures have to be followed,” she said.
“I therefore call on all school heads to work hand in hand with parents throughout the year. Do not just raise matters of school fees after students have completed their studies.”
Doing so, Tshireletso said, would also enable school heads to keep tabs on students’ welfare, know their backgrounds and also gauge whether they need assistance from the Department of Social Services.