MASERU — The government is rationalising school fees in all public secondary and high schools starting from January next year, Education Minister ’Mamphono Khaketla said on Monday.
Khaketla told a press conference that the government had decided to rationalise fees to deal with the unco-ordinated manner schools were pegging their fees.
This had resulted in some charging prohibitive fees thereby making it difficult for some students to access secondary education.
“Pursuant to section (2) (ii) of Education Act of 2010, the general public is hereby informed that the government of Lesotho has approved implementation of rationalisation of school fees in all public secondary and high schools, effective from January 2012,” Khaketla said.
She said the approved charges would include boarding, feeding, and Junior Certificate book rental fees.
They would however exclude Cambridge Overseas School Certificate (COSC) book fees, the minister said.
She added that the new fees structure would be subjected to periodic revisions to enable schools to function properly.
Khaketla warned schools against charging more than the stipulated maximum amounts.
She said the maximum fees in theoretical government day schools should be M900 a year while technical government day schools should charge a maximum of M1 000 per annum.
The maximum fees in public theoretical day schools has been set at M 1 200 per annum while the technical day schools will charge M1 300 a year.
Other theoretical boarding government schools will be expected to charge M2 300 while fees for technical boarding government schools should be set at M2 400 per annum.
Khaketla said combined day schools which have been charging M500 per annum should increase their fees to M650 per annum.
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Similarly combined boarding schools should charge M2 000 per annum, she said.
The revised fee structure will be sent to schools in time to enable parents and guardians to prepare fully.
Khaketla said schools were at liberty to charge lower than the prescribed fees “in order to respond to their unique circumstances”.
“We expect school principals and the general public to co-operate so that this intervention can yield intended results and benefits,” she said.
Arrangements would be made to provide financial support to schools adhering to the new rationalisation policy.
Khaketla said it was critical for schools to be transparent and accountable in how they use the subvention funds from the government.