Teachers cry foul over PTA allowances
Teachers in several Kigali schools have urged the Ministry of Education to prevail over schools to ensure speedy disbursement of Parents Teachers Association (PTA) allowances.
Those who spoke to The New Times lamented that they do not get the token of appreciation on time.
“This money is given as a motivation. The ministry should encourage parents to pay so that teachers can get it on time,” Damascene Nshogoza, a teacher at GS Ndera said.
“If parents pay money as a reward, why can’t we get it as we agreed with the head teachers in our respective schools? It takes months to get it; we wish we could get it monthly,” bemoaned a teacher at Saint Famille School, who preferred anonymity.
On his part, Frederic Kajangwe, a teacher at Lycee Notre Dame du Bon Conseil, explained, “The money is given monthly or at the end of the term and is paid based on the geographical location and the capacity of the schools.
“The amount depends on the agreement between parents and the school. Teachers settle with the school administrators on the amount to be paid. If there is a delay, the schools should pay teachers and ask parents to reimburse later,” Kajangwe suggested.
A parent resident of Kiyovu in Nyarugenge District, , who preferred to be identified only by her first name, Josephine, made it clear that schools should desist from coercing parents to pay the PTA motivational fee, insisting this instead erodes education quality.
“This allowance can negatively affect our children’s education as teachers may not teach well if they are not paid,” she insisted.
She requested teachers to look beyond their self interests.
In the Interview with The New Times last Friday, the State Minister for Primary and Secondary Education, Dr Mathias Harebamungu, emphasised that the motivation fee should not be uniform, but should instead be based on a school’s geographical location, financial clout as well as ability to mobilise for funds.
Harebamungu further warned schools to stop demanding for unduly large amounts of money from parents saying this is unwarranted.
“We did a survey in different primary and secondary schools and realised that they charge parents large amounts of money, especially in Kigali, and they sometimes chase students away from school for failure to pay,” observed the minister, noting that his ministry had taken necessary steps to deal with the situation.
The bonuses are only required in government schools, where school fees were scrapped upon the introduction of free education under the 12-year basic education programme.