Friday, April 12, 2024

School fees continue their rapid rise


Does money go to teachers or owners?

According to an assessment by the Addis Ababa Education Bureau, private schools in Addis Ababa have increased next year’s tuition fees from 1,500 to 5,000 birr for a year. This means that overall school prices will rise to between 2,000and 80,000 birr for a year.
According to Capital’s assessment most of the schools charge from 1,000 to 12,000 birr for their registration fee.
The schools say they are increasing their prices in response to price hikes in teacher salaries, rental fees and school materials. This year’s increase is not as high as last year’s when prices were raised an average of 5 to 12 thousand birr per year.
Tekabe WoldeGebriel, Vice Manager of School of Tomorrow told Capital that responding to the inflation rate and benefiting teachers are the most crucial factors when it comes to tuition fees.
“Housing and food prices are always rising and teachers are suffering because they are unable to meet their basic needs in this hard economy so the school administration has to provide extra money for the teachers.”
“Teachers are producing the future who will address the economic, political and social situation of Ethiopia. So people working for this deserve support in obtaining cheaper housing.”
A parent who has two children at a private school around Bole and wanted to be anonymous said that the price hike at schools is exaggerated and most of the money goes to the owner and not the teacher.
“Most of the children’s parents are hired workers and don’t have any means to get an extra income unless they get a salary raise. Anybody can witness that in the last few years the country’s economy has slowed down. This means parents are not getting a better income but they told them to increase fee up to 5,000 birr per year which is unacceptable.
“I know some of the schools which have 3,000 students will get extra six million birr income from the increase and I am sure that this schools will not spend one million birr for teacher’s salary. There is little or nothing that the educational bureau can do to check these schools as they are not under their supervision. The right solution is building public schools that can compete with private schools and in this way we can get a fair price from the private schools who currently charge any fee as they wish any time.”
A teacher working in a private school around Megenagna said that mentioning teacher’s salary in the school fee increase is just a pretext and most of the increase goes to the owner of the school who manages nothing more than possessing the school.
“Schools in the city generally increase salaries around 500 birr annually but they get millions from raising tuition fees. The low pay leads to high staff turnover in the schools.
Fikerter Abera, Deputy Director of Education Relevance and Quality Assurance at Addis Ababa Education Bureau said that parents are complaining about the new prices so the Bureau is investigating if the new charges are fair.
Currently 1,000, KG, 589 primary and 149 private high schools operate in the city.

Read more