FIJI NEWS

Children turned away for not paying fees

By FARISHA AHMED Parents were asked to pay school fees as early as yesterday to have their children in school. Some parents in Suva and Navua were reported paying the
23 Jan 2013 10:27

By FARISHA AHMED

Monita Devi (left) with her daughter Pritishna Yachal and son Shivneel Narayan standing outside Samabula Primary School after her daughters were stopped from entering their classrooms yesterday. Photo: NAVNEET NARAYAN

Parents were asked to pay school fees as early as yesterday to have their children in school.
Some parents in Suva and Navua were reported paying the fees yesterday to avoid having their children missing school.
Monita Devi, mother of two primary school children, had to take her daughters back home after the school refused to allow her children into school.
Ms Devi said there were other children sent home just because they did not have their school fees paid by yesterday.
“We are told to pay the fees by this week if we want our children to enter the classroom,” she said.
Her two daughters Pritishna Achal and Yashna Achal should be going to Classes 6 and 7 respectively at Samabula Primary School.
Headteacher Krishna Dutt declined to comment when approached. He ordered a security officer to escort a Fiji Sun reporter and photojournalist from the compound.
Ms Devi said schools should be understanding about family situations and give time to parents to pay the fees.
Ms Devi still finds it difficult to pay the fees because her husband is just a machine operator.
Ms Devi said schools should understand that not everyone can afford to pay the fees straight away if they have more than one child.
“I will have to organise the fees for both my daughters so they do not miss any of their classes, she said
Meanwhile there are schools charging parents for late payment of fees.
Some parents, who do not wish to disclose their names, said a school has asked them to pay a penalty of $20 for late payment.
A parent of the said school was slapped with a $20 fine for late payment.
“We could not pay the fees up front and when we came today, we were charged an extra $20,” he said.
The school management and the headteacher refused to comment on the matter.
According to the Ministry of Education, every child has the right to education hence no school is to demand upfront fees or levy a penalty for late payment.
The Education Ministry has clarified that there is no such thing as upfront payment as parent’s financial obligations can always be discussed with the school’s headteacher.
No student is to be turned away from school for non-payment of fees under Government’s initiative on education for all.
The Consumer Council is reminding all school heads and managements to follow the rules and procedures laid out by the Education Ministry.



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