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School charges

Siteri Sauvakacolo
Friday, January 24, 2014

PARENTS who want their children to do extracurricular activities in schools should pay for them.

This was the comment by the Education Ministry following concerns over some schools that were still issuing notices on extra fees to be paid for their children's extracurricular activities.

Ministry permanent secretary Dr Brij Lal said their stand was very clear and no parent should pay a fee for their children's education.

However, extracurricular activities to be taken up by their children should be the parents' responsibility.

Claims by concerned parents of The Arya Pratinidhi Sabha of Fiji schools and Yat Sen Primary School was that they had to pay extra fees.

"Our stand is very clear; no parent should pay a single fee except for any services that we have raised so far," Mr Lal said.

"For example, if their children want to take up swimming classes for $100 then parents will have to pay for it. If they want to do Scouts, parents will have to buy their uniforms.

"But apart from that there shouldn't be any other type of levy put on any parent."

Sabha president Dewan Chand Maharaj, who had just returned from abroad, said he would be able to reveal more on the issue after a visit to Sabha schools today.

He added some parents never realised the fact that some children's fees haven't been paid for the past six to seven years.

A circular sent to parents of Yat Sen Secondary School on January 14 2014, stated that while they supported the government's initiative, this level of support was not enough to operate, maintain and provide all the education programs, extra-curricular and sporting activities, Chinese languages, culture programs and facilities that students enjoy.

The circular stated a series of meetings with the Education Ministry, PTFA and other stakeholders had gathered a simple way of meeting this shortfall.

Classes 1- 2 (Years 1-2) will pay $125/ student, $150/ student for classes 3-4 (Years 3-4), $175/ student for classes 5-6 (Years 5-6) while classes 7-8 (Years 7-8) accommodate for $200/ student.

A breakdown of the grant allocated by the government for primary education showed that of the $250, $30 will go towards administration and office operations, $50 for the building levy and maintenance, $45 for the stationary levy, $45 for the computer levy, $45 for the library levy, and $45 for physical education, music and art and craft levy.

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