PARENTS who have been charged school fees or have been told to pay their children's fees for next year have been urged to report the matter to the Education Ministry.
Education Minister Filipe Bole said while schools had been informed in writing not to charge school fees, appropriate action would be taken against them when parents lodged their concerns with the ministry.
"Charging fees is going directly against our instructions — at this stage we cannot do anything until parents complain to us," Mr Bole said.
He said all schools had been warned not to charge school fees and the ministry was ironing out ways of dealing with schools not following the orders.
Some parents also informed this newspaper that they had paid more than $200 in advance payments for school fees for their children for the coming year.
A parent, who preferred anonymity, told this newspaper that a prominent Suva school charged her $300 for her son's enrolment for Class One next year.
"The school said the $300 is to prepare for next term. I was told that the money will be refunded when the ministry provides grant to the school," the parent said.
Meanwhile, the ministry has started its financial management workshop aimed to create awareness for school leaders and management on government's new free education scheme for next year.
Mr Bole said the workshop that started yesterday in Nadi, Lautoka, Ba, Rakiraki and in Labasa would discuss what schools needed to do in order to ensure the smooth running of the scheme.
He said through the workshop, schools would also know how much they would receive from the ministry as grants.
Mr Bole said the team from the ministry would also provide professional advice and guidance to school heads and managements.