Student body calls for ceiling on parents’ contribution

Since registration started last week, NASA has been informed of schools demanding N$600 from parents before learners can be registered for the academic year.

11 January 2022 | Education

Kenya Kambowe







RUNDU

The National African Students’ Association (NASA) has called on government to introduce a ceiling on how much parents should contribute towards the school development fund.

Currently, there is no policy in place that dictates the maximum amount schools can demand from parents.

Namibian Sun understands that the Kavango East education directorate has agreed to N$150, however it is still up to individual schools as there is no official or gazetted amount in that regard.

At a press conference in Rundu yesterday, NASA vice president Paulus Vihemba argued that the lack of ceiling on how much schools can demand has resulted in parents - especially those from poor backgrounds – ending up in debt.

He said while free education remains a political statement on paper that has not yet been implemented, the education ministry can save parents who are being exploited by some schools by introducing a ceiling amount.

“This is happening because the government has no clear policy or guideline telling schools that if you practice parental contribution, you do not go to this extent,” Vihemba said.

“We are recommending that the ministry set a maximum amount of parental contributions for all schools to avoid schools overcharging parents. There should be a certain ceiling because you cannot go to one school and they’re asking for N$1 000 and the other is asking N$100. It should just be one amount for all schools.”

Vihemba said since registration commenced last week, NASA has been informed of schools demanding N$600 from parents before learners can be registered for the academic year.

Increase grants

NASA also made a call for the education ministry to increase the universal primary and secondary education grants, saying the reduction of these grants over the years has resulted in schools targeting parents to fill the void in finances.

Increasing the grants “is the only way schools will have enough money to buy learning resources,” the association said.

It further called on grants to be paid earlier in the year as this will allow schools not to depend on parents to bail them out when there are no funds in their coffers to run programmes.

NASA said parents who are having issues with schools in terms of registering their learners can contact them for assistance.

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