Public schools warned against sending children home over fees

Rwandan Education Board (REB) has issued a warning to public schools against extra charges that are levied to parents which end up inhibiting students from attending school.

Rwandan Education Board (REB) has issued a warning to public schools against extra charges that are levied to parents which end up inhibiting students from attending school.

The warning that was signed off by Janvier Gasana, follows reports that some students were being turned away from school at the opening of the new academic year earlier this week.

The levies that are being imposed on students include incentive fees for teachers, registration, hygiene, scholarship materials, feeding, among others, which are even being imposed on students from the poorest households under the lowest category of the social stratification programme, Ubudehe.

In a letter addressed to district mayors, Gasana urged them to follow up and ensure children are not deprived of their right to education because they have not been able to pay for these services.

The agency says this contradicts the already established educational frameworks and could escalate the dropout rate, yet government is doing everything possible to ensure all children are at school.

He added that any such charges must be discussed and agreed on in parents-teachers’ associations and should not be applicable to children who come from the first and second category of Ubudehe.

The districts, he said should be notified and approve such fees and ensure rights of children, especially from vulnerable are not trampled upon.

“We argue you to monitor issue you a stand warning to all school directors asking them to stop such behavior, and ask them not to suspend any student who will not pay such charges,” the statement further reads.

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