AHEAD of the reopening of colleges and secondary schools for form six students on Monday, the government has warned academic institutions against seeking extra payments contrary to the agreed models.
Giving health guidelines, Minister for Education, Science and Technology, Prof Joyce Ndalichako said as the world continues to battle Covid-19, parents should not be asked to make any extra payments to schools and colleges and that her office will keenly make a close follow up on the matter.
She also warned schools that have been instructing students to bring with them lemons, gingers, methylated spirit and other things on the pretext of preventing the spread of coronavirus.
The minister said whoever goes against the order risks losing operational licence and school or college registration status.
She said the guidelines are in line with the directives from the Ministry of Health, Community Development, Gender, Elderly and Children in fighting the pandemic.
The directive follows a number of complaints raised by the public regarding conditions and extra payments imposed by schools and colleges a few days after President John Magufuli announced the resumption of studies.
"Some schools have been billing parents with extra expenses as well as instructions on what students should carry upon resumption of studies on Monday; this is unacceptable and the government will not tolerate such acts," she further remarked.
According to Prof Ndalichako, college and school managements should not take advantage of coronavirus to exploit poor parents who have been hit by economic difficulties.
"Ordering parents to pay extra money in the name of the impacts caused by Covid-19 is unfair; everyone has suffered and it is against the rules and regulations," she said, adding: "Schools need to feed students with natural food, which are rich in vitamin C, allocate equipment for washing hands, keep social distancing and follow all other directives from health experts."
Prof Ndalichako said only those with the pending school fees before the schools were suspended must settle pending payments but the rest should not incur any expenses as no one prayed for the pandemic.
She asked all colleges and schools that are scheduled to open on Monday to immediately start preparations.
The government, through the National Examination Council, has scheduled final form six examination to start from June 29 to July 16, this year.
According to Prof Ndalichako, the government has already released a total of 122.8bn/-, of which 63.7bn/- is for food and accommodation and 59.1bn/- is for tuition fees.
Meanwhile, the Tanzania Commission for Universities (TCU) has directed universities to ensure they complete curriculum on time to allow enrolment of new students in October, this year.
TCU's Executive Secretary, Prof Charles Kihampa said in Mwanza yesterday that the commission is aware of the challenges caused by the pandemic and that all universities are asked to submit their working plan towards attaining their goals.
"The Curriculum must be completed before the last week of October; this will give new students an opportunity to embark on higher learning studies," he said.