Minister Of EducationThe Ministry of Education, Science and Technology (MoEST) has finally inaugurated the much anticipated tuition fees on Initial Primary Teachers Education (IPTE) for 2015/2016 academic year as learners will be coughing out MK90, 000 and MK15, 000 for boarding and tuition fees respectively in a year.

The development comes after the same ministry abandoned Open Distance Learning (ODL) system of recruitment some months ago due to large number of trained teachers who were unable to be absolved into government workforce.

Through the press statement available to The Maravi Post, which is informing the general public of the release of IPTE 11 students’ selection for 2015/2016 academic year, the tuitions fees are effective from September 12, 2015 such that no upkeep allowances will be given to learners.

“The list of the selected candidates has been sent to all District Education Offices and all Public Teacher Training Colleges. The Ministry is informing all those selected to report at their respective colleges on Saturday 12th September, 2015 to start their studies.

“MoEST is also advising selected candidates to bring their original Malawi School Certificate of Education (MSCE), beddings, plates, cups, cutlery, water buckets, writing materials, dictionaries, bathing towels and soap when reporting for the training programme in the teacher training colleges”, reads the statement.

The selected candidates are further informed that their places will be declared vacant if they do not report at their respective colleges within two weeks.

“Please take note that student teachers will not be given any upkeep allowances during the period they will be at their respective colleges. Additionally, all candidates are expected to pay MK5, 000.00 tuition fees and MK30, 000.00 boarding fees, on the day of registration. The candidates are further informed that tuition fees for one academic year is MK15, 000 whereas boarding fees is MK90.000”, concludes the statement.

Manfred Ndolvi, MoEST’s spokesperson defended the tuition fees introduction saying aimed at lessening government on heavy costs which were incurred for training over 4,000 teachers annually with a cost of MK556, 000 for each student.

“With the Malawi’s current economic turmoil, government through wide consultations decided to introduce the tuition fees students will start paying as a contribution towards their studies which will be off course affordable to an ordinary Malawian in the village. The fees will assist the ministry beefing up its learning and teaching materials such computers, books.

“Indeed government has an obligation to provide free social services to its citizen but in this case the burden is so huge to continue with free training hence the introduction of the tuitions fees. In this regard, no student will choose where to be deployed. The ministry will continue with the usual deployment as is still the employer”, explains Ndolvi.

Benedicto Kondowe, Civil Society Education Coalition (CSEC)’s Executive Director did not minced words to The Maravi Post by calling government to reverse the decision as doing so would widen the gap of teacher and pupil ratio as most people won’t venture into the
profession which has already numerous shortfall towards teachers.

“Government should reverse the decision for thorough consultation as we advised early as the development is burdens to those have little resources to attain the training .With such fees, graduates will have a choice where to work either in government or private sector which will continue to widen the teacher-pupil ratio”, urges Kondowe

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