‘No student should pay fees to public schools’

Oct 4, 2021, 12:48 PM | Article By: Lamin B. Darboe, Information Officer, MoBSE

Permanent secretary at the Ministry of Basic and Secondary Education (MoBSE) has informed that no student should pay a dime as school fee to public schools.

Louis Moses Mendy made this statement on Thursday at the Regional Education Directorate in Kanifing during the press conference as MoBSE officials analysed the 2021 GABECE results.

“But in the event, some schools want to initiate some good practices, in terms of provision of  uniforms in the schools where parents buy uniform, ministry must be informed about it for approval and most importantly, it must be championed by SMCs and the PTAs,” PS Mendy stated. 

He warned that no school administration should champion that. “Those to champion are the SMCs and PTAs where they can provide a tailor to the school; buy materials and sew. But they must not be single handedly managed by the school authorities.

In that respect, he added, “we solicit everyone’s cooperation to ensure that if anyone knows a public school that is charging fees that are not to be charged, please inform the nearest Regional Office or MoBSE headquarters in Banjul.”

“By law, ministry is mandated to provide basic education to children from ECD to senior secondary school levels. It has been brought to the notice of MoBSE that some public schools are levying some charges to students and for that reason, we want to inform public through the press that in The Gambia, there are no fees for any student attending public schools,” PS Mendy stated. 

“When we say public schools, we refer to all government subvented, granted and recognised Madarasas schools across the country,” he clarified, while giving an example of such public schools like St. Therese’s, Latri-Kunda German, Nustrat and Charles Jaw among others. 

He emphasised that any student in those schools mentioned above should not pay school fees as government is paying for them, adding that there are regulations surrounding the operations of schools and those regulations must be adhered to by the public school authorities.

“For that reason, if there are schools that are levying some charges for students to pay school fees, they should desist from that with immediate effect,” he explained.

PS Mendy added: “Government provided 19 students in CRR north schools with uniforms, shoes, feeding and lunch which excluding the fees government pays for them.”

“It is important for public to be aware of these steps taken by the government,” he noted, while stating that those who are paying school fees are the students that decided to go to private schools.

He, however, highlighted that MoBSE is coming up with a policy that will guide the general operations of not only public schools but also private schools. “Because we are aware of some challenges that are caused to parents and it is becoming difficult for some parents.” 

As a sector, we exist to provide protection to the children of this country, to parents of these children, and school proprietors, so there must be a win-win situation among these players.”

“Parents, students and school proprietors all shouldn’t suffer. But how do we go to achieve all of these?, he inquired.

“We can achieve all these through some form of regulations and in the nearest future; we will come up with regulations based on the interest of our future leaders and the country at large,” PS Mendy concluded.