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Mozambican Education Minister Conceita Sortane on Monday ordered that money collected by schools illicitly from parents and guardians while enrolling their children in first grade must be returned.
Speaking to reporters in the southern city of Matola, Sortane stressed that enrolment is free of charge from first to ninth grades.
Some school managements, however, have taken advantage of the enrolment period to charge parents fees that will supposedly go towards paying for security guards.
Cited by the independent television station STV, Sortane said schools had received no instruction from the Education Ministry to make any such charges. The school directors themselves had decided to impose the charges, thus violating the rules that govern enrolment.
She said that measures are now under way to identify the schools and directors that had made the illegal charges, in order to take “corrective measures” and return the money.
“It does not make sense that a director of his own free will decides to take measures that violate the law which governs the normal functioning of the Education Ministry, thus endangering the government’s efforts to offer free education to all Mozambican children”, she added.
Instructions on enrolment are clear, the Minister said. “This moment cannot be confused or mixed together with other collections of various fees agreed by the School Council for assorted school purposes”.
The excuses given for the fees, Sortane said, were false. Paying for security guards or for construction work should happen after the start of classes, in order to make it clear that this payment is not a condition for enrolling children in school.Source: AIM
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