Liberia: Senate Invites Education Boss

11 September 2019

-over tuition hike

The Liberian Senate has invited the Minister of Education, Professor AnsuSonii, to appear before full plenary on Thursday, 12 September to discuss the hike in tuition and other related fees charged by schools in the country.In a communication written by Montserrado Country Sen. Abraham Darius Dillon, he requests plenary to invite Minister Sonii to discuss before Senate Plenary the hike in tuition at a time of economic hardship in the country.

Through the communication, Mr. Dillon indicates that the Ministry of Education's Academic Calendar for 2019/2020 school year has commenced, but most parents are unable to enroll their children due to the sharp hike in fees.Schools here have made it compelling for parents or guardians to purchase their kids' uniforms made and sold by school authorities at very high cost.

Tuition and other fees have also increased sharply, worsening the economic challenges faced by most parents and sponsors in meeting their obligations up to the time the school year has started.Sen. Dillon observes that the cost for a set of uniforms at most schools is between US$75.00 to US$100, while school fees for some schools are as high as US$1,000.

According to the Montserrado Senator, the Education Minister, who reportedly owns a school himself, needs to inform plenary on the rationale for such act and what needs to be done to intervene where necessary.Following the reading of the communication, Sinoe County Sen. Augustine Chea made a motion that the communication be received and sent to the Committee on Education.

But Sen. Chea's motion was defeated by a vote taken by plenary, prompting a new motion by Margibi County Sen. Oscar Cooper, seeking the appearance of Minister Sonii before plenary on Thursday, 12 September.Sen. Cooper describes the issue as a matter of urgency and sensitivity.

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