School Fees Hike Claims Senate Attention -Plenary Summons Education Minister

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As if ordinary Liberians are not suffering enough under the debilitating effects of COVID-19, parents who are barely able to make ends meet must make the impossible possible by meeting up with the rising cost of tuition as schools resume for academic 2019/2020. Equally concerned about the astronomical hike in tuition, Montserrado County Senator Abraham Darius Dillion has written Senate Pro Tempore Albert Chie asking for Education Minister D. Ansu Sonii to appear and address himself to the hike in tuition and other related fees of Schools in the Country during this period of economic hardship.

According to Senator Dillon’s letter dated September 9, 2020, he wishes for the President Pro Tempore of the Liberian Senate to request plenary to summon the Minister of Education to appear before the august body and address himself to the hike in tuition and other related fees of schools in the country during this period of economic hardship.

“Honorable Pro Temp and Colleagues, as you may be aware the Ministry of Education calendar for the academic 2019/202 school year has commenced with most parents still unable to enroll their children in school due to the sharp hike in fees. For example, the cost of a set of uniforms for most Schools especially Faith based Institutions is between seventy five Unied State dollars (US$75.00) to one hundred United States Dollars (US$100.00), while school fees for some schools are put as high as one thousand United States dollars. The Minister needs to inform us on the rationale and justification for said hike, and what we can do to intervene where necessary,” Senator Dillon stated.

It can be recalled, Senator Dillon on September 9, 2019 wrote and lobbied with his colleagues to endorse a communication seeking to summon the Minister of Education regarding unrealistic hike in tuition and other related school fees across the country.

“Our colleagues saw reason and plenary summoned the Minister. He appeared along with a team of officials of the Ministry of Education. As a result of the appearance, the Ministry constituted a taskforce to investigate the hike. The taskforce reported after two months that over 80% of the schools across Liberia were found guilty of the unjustified hike. The Minister then reappeared before the Senate Plenary early this year and swore under Oath that said schools would be demanded and made to refund the parents and students the variance of the hike,” Senator Dillon recounted.

But he said, to date, no such refund has been made by the schools, and the Ministry has not taken steps to enforce the decision.

“We reminded the Plenary last week about this people-centered issue, and our Colleagues agree. Hence, the Minister’s appearance today to state why the Ministry has failed, refused and or neglected to do so,” Senator Dillon averred.

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