School fees row in ENB

National, Normal


SOME schools in East New Britain (ENB) are still asking parents to pay additional fees as the academic year enters its third week.
This is despite notices being put up on school fees endorsed by the ENB provincial executive council (PEC) for all levels of schools in the province.
The PEC agreed that 2010 school fees would remain the same as 2009: Grade 11 and 12 would be K710 for boarders while day students would be K500 in secondary schools.
Grades 9 and 10 would be K600 for boarders while day students would be K400.
Students in primary and community schools would be K250 for Grade 7 and 8, K150 for Grades 3, 4, 5 and 6 while Grades 1 and 2 would pay K100.
All elementary students from prep to Year 2 will pay K100 across the board for each student, which is for project fees to cater for project plans that each school has in place.
Private schools would pay fees set by their governing bodies while flexible open distance education students will pay K90 for each subject.
This is amidst complaints by parents with the provincial education division that they were being told to pay extra on top of the actual amounts set by PEC for this year’s school fees.
A representative from the provincial education board, Benias Ilam, urged parents to pay according to the set fees as approved by the PEC.
He said the PEC had rejected the provincial education board’s recommendation to increase school fees for 2010 and this was based on the difficulties currently being experienced in ENB with the effects of cocoa pod borer (CPB) on the economy of the province and parents not given enough time to prepare for the fee increases.
Mr Ilam said some parents still had outstanding school fees from the past years and the education office encouraged the board of management and parents to reach an understanding, especially with parents who had more than one child in upper secondary, primary or elementary schools.