The Ministry of Education (Mineduc), on Tuesday, warned schools against increasing tuition fees or demanding parents to pay full tuition for entire academic year without prior consultations with parents. Speaking to The New Times, Isaac Munyakazi, the Minister of State in charge of Primary and Secondary Education, said that the ministry is aware of cases where some schools unilaterally – and suddenly – hike school fees and had moved to stop it. “Such decisions must not be taken without consulting the parents first,” he said, adding that school administrations need to always engage parents on proposed changes to fee structure well in advance. The issue had earlier been raised on social media by a tweep who said his friend had just encountered such a case. Schools reopened for the 2020 academic year on Monday. Munyakazi also issued a stern warning to schools he said demand parents or guardians to pay entire academic year’s tuition fees, saying this was wrong unless it was agreed upon by the concerned parties. “The idea is to make the fee structure as predictable as possible and this ceases to be the case when schools take such decisions overnight,” he said. He gave the example of Groupe Scholaire Kagugu in Kinyinya Sector, Gasabo District and “some schools” in Rubavu District among those that have introduced this “anomaly”. “If the school agrees with the parents to hike tuition fees or that fees for the whole academic year should be paid at once, and it’s what they have chosen, we will not interfere,” he noted. “Otherwise such decisions taken unilaterally are unacceptable and we’ll not tolerate such behaviours.” A parent who spoke to The New Times on condition of anonymity said, “It happened to us, I took two children to a new school this year and we were told that we needed to pay school fees for the entire academic year for them to be admitted.” “This is unfair because most parents cannot raise annual school fees at once,” he added. Munyakazi said the Education ministry would work closely with districts to ensure that such cases are detected and stopped.