THE Public Service, Labour and Social Services ministry owes $64 million in unpaid school fees for students under the Basic Education Assistance Module (Beam), the Senate was told on Thursday.
By VENERANDA LANGA
Primary and Secondary Education minister Lazarus Dokora made the disclosure following reports that Beam students were being denied access to their public examination results over outstanding tuition fees by various school heads.
“As a ministry, we are aware that we have outstanding financial balances between the Labour and Social Welfare ministry. The amount is almost $64 million which is fees of these students on the Beam programme. Children on Beam must be given their results. It is known that the problem lies with the ministry responsible for the payment of fees,” he said.
He said a circular was delivered to all schools ordering headmasters not to chase away the students but deal with the parents or guardians who were supposed to pay the fees.
“We have had instances whereby parents and guardians have spent more than two years promising that they will be paying the fees to the extent that the learner has written the final examination at these particular schools. This is a pain in the neck for these schools. I ask members of this august House to go and tell the parents in their constituencies that learning institutions are not for babysitting, but for learning. They can only run if fees are paid.”