Minister of Education, Science and Technology, Bright Msaka, has praised President Peter Mutharika for the abolition of K500 fees in conventional and community day secondary schools (CDSSs) effective September 2018 and additional K1 750 in January 2019.
Msaka: Praises Mutharika
Msaka said in a ministerial statement he delivered in Parliament on Monday that Mutharika, as a global champion on education, had made it possible for all children, irrespective of their circumstances, to have equal access to secondary education.
"More importantly, the President removed these fees in order to create a conducive environment for building the human capital that Malawi needs for the attainment of our national development aspirations," he said.
However, Msaka was quizzed by legislators on the matter which included Mangochi South MP Lilian Patel (United Democratic Front -UDF) who said she was surprised that some secondary school students in her constituency asked her to pay school fees for them.
Patel asked Msaka if the Ministry of Education has communicated about the fees abolition to district education managers and other district officials.
Msaka assured that the presidential directive has been communicated to all authorities.
"With the removal of the fees, government will not collect any monetary contributuions from students," said Msaka.
Lilongwe North East MP Maxwell Thyolela (Malawi Congress Party -MCP), asked the Education Minister to explain what the government is doing on other types if fees such as examinations.
Msaka pointed out that students will continue paying examination fees.
In total, government has abolished payment of K3 250 per pupil in all public secondary schools, thus; tuition fees K500 which is paid per term (K1500 per year), general purpose fund at K1 500 and text book revolving fund which is K250.
Recently, US Ambassador Virginia Palmer disclosed that the decision is part of a memorandum of understanding with MoEST ahead of the construction of 256 secondary schools in the country.