Parents urge government to waive school fees

Watson Nyambek

BETONG: Several parents, especially those from the low-income group, are appealing to the government to waive school fees for their children.

This is in view of the absence of face-to-face teaching and learning, which is being replaced by home-based teaching and learning (PdPR).

They argued that payment of school fees would be an additional financial burden, especially for parents from the low-income group.

“Many parents, especially those from the low-income group, have to bear other additional expenses to provide facilities for the implementation of the PdPR,” they lamented.

Former national sprinter and 100m record holder Watson Nyambek, who is among the parents who appealed for the waiver, said he disagreed with the collection of school fees at this time.

“I don’t agree that we should pay the school fees, especially when our children have been asked to do online study from home.

“Perhaps, the Education Ministry or the schools concerned should seriously consider waiving the fees this time around.

“But, I guess it’s okay for those students who are sitting for public examinations,” he added.

Watson also compared the fees to the moratorium by banks on loan repayments during the movement control order.

“If the banks are able and willing to exempt or defer repayment of car and housing loans due to the Covid-19 pandemic, I don’t see why the government cannot do the same with our children’s school fees.”

He said the government should also look into the online learning approach, especially for students in rural areas, as not every student or pupil could afford a smart phone or electronic device.