Rapese clarifies fees and subsidies

National, Normal

ACTING Education secretary Damien Rapese has called on all education stakeholders to understand the difference between school fees and Government education subsidy.
These include school authorities like the boards of management, boards of governors and governing councils, churches, NGOs, politicians, parents and guardians.
According to Mr Rapese as many stakeholders did not understand the difference between the two, they blamed the Government for the lack of money to administer schools.
“The difference between school fees and Government subsidy is that the National Education Board (NEB) and provincial education board had set school fee limits for parents and guardians to pay school fees for their children attending elementary prep to Grade 12 and vocational,” Mr Rapese said.
These fees are charged to parents to pay but to alleviate the burden of paying school fees, the Government has been subsidising school fees through the Education Department.
“The difference is the school fees are fees paid by the parents and guardians direct to school bank accounts while the Government education subsidy is cash grants paid to schools through the Education Department,” Mr Rapese said.
Mr Rapese indicated that the Government’s education subsidy policy was simply to assist parents and guardians from the burden of paying fees for their children in community, primary, vocational centre and high/secondary sectors.
“The education subsidy policy is aimed at addressing the Government’s education objectives to increase student access and provide quality education; therefore there are approved areas for the funds to be spent on,” Mr Rapese said.
He explained the school fees paid by the parents and guardians of students constitute a larger component of the school’s budget.
“It is, therefore, important that parents and guardians become responsible in paying the fees required so that schools can function properly and, the school authorities must become reasonable when enforcing the school fee policies.”