KIGALI - Private schools have been cautioned against increasing fees without consulting relevant authorities in the Ministry of Education.
Narcisse Musabeyezu, the Inspector General of Education told The Sunday Times in an interview that any private school that hikes school fees without the approval of the ministry will be disciplined.
“Increasing school fees without following the right government procedures is a way of exploiting parents. It is unacceptable,” Musabeyezu said.
He said all schools should increase the fees after consulting Parents-Teachers Association (PTA) and then seek approval from the district where the school is based.
He was reacting to a move by Kigali International Community School in Gasabo district where the management this year made an abrupt fee increase from the annual USD 2100 to US$2600 without seeking the district’s approval.
According to Musabeyezu, the district where a school is based has the last word on whether the fees should be increased or not.
He explained that government has a clear policy so that neither party is exploited.
When contacted on Wednesday, Vincent Ngaboyisonga the district representative in charge of education, sports and culture in Gasabo district said that the school didn’t contact the district.
“We have only approved two schools which wanted to increase the fees. They include F.A.W.E Girl’s Secondary School and Good Foundation Primary School.”
“The approval came after the school administration presented reports on which majority of the parents signed in favour of the fees increment,” Ngaboyisonga.
He explained that procedures of increasing school fees are known to all schools and nobody should feign ignorance over the matter.
Bryan Hixson, Chairman of the KICS school board, attributed the increase in fees to the on-going inflation.
“After making consultations and the school board meeting with the parent’s representative body, due to the current inflation, the increment was approved,” he said, adding, “I am not aware of any other procedure to be followed.”
A concerned parent who declined to be named claims the administration increased the fees as a strategy to eliminate the local parents, a claim repeatedly denied by the school authorities.
Although members of the board claimed that being an international school, they had a different procedure to increase fees, they could not prove it in writing.
Previously, the former KICS school board had proposed to have a125 percent fees increment. This raised dust. The board was highly criticised and some members forced to resign.
The primary school constitutes pupils` of different nationalities with Rwandan children making up 35 percent.
The school operates on an American-based curriculum.