Disgruntled parents are at loggerheads with management of Phakalane English Medium school following a 15% increase in school fees.
Although the school has pointed to the ripple effects of the Covid-19 as the reason for the increase, the concerned parents have complained that the hike was too steep and accused the school management of greed.
At a recent meeting held by the school, parents were left worried and confused as they felt that the percentage increase was ridiculously high and unfair. “We were doing the bulk of the work as parents during lockdown. We were buying data bundles for tutors and helping out with homework and as if it was not enough, we also paid full school fees. This is unfair to us,” complained one of the concerned parents, Abi Mabua.
When justifying the hiked school fees, the school manager, Jan Joseph, said they have been badly impacted by the Covid-19, noting that the school may have to offload non-compliant students and remain with those that are able to pay. “We have since instructed our lawyers to handle the matter and deal with the parents who signed a petition against the school,” she said.
Joseph explained that to ensure compliance with the Covid-19 protocols, the school has invested in new infrastructure which included the purchase of geysers, furniture, basins and other necessities. “The student-teacher ratio was also reduced to 1:22 from the usual 1:30 resulting in additional 10 classrooms. As the school we really feel justified to increase the fees as there is also continuous replacement of consumables,” she said.
The parents’ concerns were further aggravated by the school’s decision to donate a two-bedroomed house worth P265 896.04 which they believe was unnecessary in the light of the financial situation.
Primary school fees have been increased from P9 200.00 to P10 500.00, while junior school fees have been increased from P10 190.00 to P13 000.00 per term, next year.