Education Minister Summoned over Tuition Hike, Others

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— Due to appear today 

The plenary of the Senate has summoned Education Minister D. Ansu Sonii to appear before that august body on Thursday, September 12, 2019 to address himself to the hike of tuition and other related fees of schools across the country.

Minister Sonii is himself a proprietor of a privately-owned school in the Banjor community, outside Monrovia.

A communication dated Monday, September 9, 2019, and read on Wednesday, September 11 during the Senate’s 63rd day sitting, under the signature of Montserrado Country Senator Abe Darius Dillon, requested his colleagues to summon the Education Minister, “to appear before this august body to address himself to the hike in tuition and other related fees of schools in the country during this period of economic hardship.”

The communication from Dillon, which is his first major document he took seat as Senator of Montserrado County, reminded his colleagues of the commencement of the Ministry of Education calendar for the 2019-2020 school year, “but with most parents are still unable to enroll their children in schools due to the sharp hike in fees.”
For example, Senator Dillon noted, “the cost for a set of uniforms in most schools, especially faith-based institutions is between US$75 to US$100, while school fees for some schools are as high as US$1,000.”

Dillon’s communication noted that the minister, a former University of Liberia instructor, needs to inform the lawmakers on the rationale and justification for said hike, and what he can do to intervene where necessary.

In a motion, meanwhile proffered by Margibi County Senator Oscar Cooper, the Senate voted that due to the sensitive nature of what is currently obtaining, the Minister be summoned to appear on Thursday, September 12, 2019, at 2:00 p.m.

4 COMMENTS

  1. Okay this is another lawmakers waste of time. The overall economic situation in the the country is the problem can’t you all see. Private schools need to function and pay teachers. The majority are not subsidized. With high inflation schools need more money to do the same things they did before. Teachers are also asking for salary increment, where do you think the money is coming from. People let’s stop witch hunting Liberian own small business that help to provide jobs, let’s tackle the real issues and stop politicising issues in order to score personal political points.

  2. Is the full Liberian senate demanding answers from Dr. Sonii about tuition hikes?

    The Liberian senate has a responsibility to do its job. But the Liberian senate ought to know that Liberia’s population is growing rapidly. That simply means more and more students are of school age.

    Liberian public schools must cope with the changing times. For instance, because less money has been appropriated for use by public schools, tuition hikes unfortunately may fill in the void. Most public schools nationwide do not have overhead projectors, photocopy machines, flushable toilets, computer labs or red ink pens for grading. It is hoped that the Liberian senate will fully understand why tuition hikes is necessary. Lastly, Dr. Sonii does not need to raise fees. However, if more money is made available, maybe things will be done differently.

  3. Making justifications from any angle for hiking school fees is insensitive. The majority of parents who are sending their kids to school, whether public or private, are the very people who are suffering the financial strain of our economy. To say school administration needs more money to keep the teachers creates more problem than solve any. How much would a student pay to augment for three or four students who could not enroll because of the hike? For instance, if a class had 30 students last year and all students passed to the next class. And this school year, only 10 returned, how is that going to make up for the balance of 20 students who cannot come because of high fees? And if the present 10 students passed to the next class, is it still justifiable to increase the fees if only 5 return? How much would be charged to these fewer students to make up for the loss? That kind of argument would got the wall soon enough as it picks up.
    I would have thought that the most feasible and reasonable thing to do was to adjust downward to encourage more student enrollment than the other way around.

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