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Anxious over fees

Nasik Swami
Thursday, February 07, 2013

SOME parents are anxious about the future of their children sent home from school because of outstanding fees.

One such school is Nabua Primary School in Suva which is refusing to accept children who have not cleared fees from last year.

Benina Bulinaivalu of Nabua, whose two children were sent home, said she was worried they would be left behind in their studies.

Mrs Bulinaivalu said a letter was given to them stating that they had arrears from last year and were to stay home until all arrears were paid in full.

"I am concerned that the school is not following the directive of the Ministry of Education not to send any student home if they have not paid their fees," Mrs Bulinaivalu said, adding that her children owed $60.

Another parent, Kitione Toroca, said his Class Four son was sent home from school on Monday for the same reason.

"My son was only left to pay $20. This action by the school is not fair because they are not adhering to the directives of the ministry," Mr Toroca said.

When contacted yesterday, the school refused to comment on the matter.

Permanent secretary for Education Dr Brij Lal had clarified that no school was to send students home because of unpaid fees.

On the same note, he reminded parents of their responsibility to settle school fees for their children or make necessary arrangements.

In a separate incident two weeks ago, a grandparent was told by school management that there was an official policy for refusing students who had outstanding fees.

Jagdish Chand, whose grandson was sent home during the first week of school, said: "I asked to see the policy but was told there was no need."

Dr Lal denied the existence of such a policy but added he expected parents and school management to be responsible. "I'm expecting people to be responsible and for schools and parents to make arrangements on the payment of fees," he said.

The school headteacher refused to comment when visited by The Fiji Times.


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