Hike in Tuition Outweighs MOE Mandate
-Education Minister, Appears before Plenary Today
By Bill E. Diggs
After numerous appeals by parents to the Government of Liberia (GOL) for a reduction in the skyrocketing tuition fees in the country, the Minister of Education, Dr. Joseph D.Z. Korto, has disclosed that the Ministry of Education (MOE) had not been mandated to control tuition fees paid to private schools.
Recent numerous appeals of parents have raised eyebrows over the past weeks and Dr. Korto is expected to appear before the 52nd Legislature today to address issues concerning the hike in tuition fees in private schools.
However, in an interview with a team of reporters on Monday, August 24, 2009 at the Centennial Memorial Pavilion, Minister Korto disclosed that the issue of controlling hikes in tuition was beyond his Ministry’s statutory mandate.
He said that the Ministry of Education’s mandate was to oversee and supervise the curriculum and academic calendar, among other activities. Such mandate, he added, covers both public and private schools.
“But let me say this, the Ministry of Education, yet does not have the statutory mandate to regulate school fees that are being paid,” Min. Korto disclosed.
The Minister did not say who has the mandate to regulate school fees in the country, but acknowledged that Liberians live in a capitalistic society where private schools, which are part of the National School System, are not being administered by the Ministry.
“The different school systems determine what level of tuition fees they can charge,” he added.
He accentuated that the Government could prevail on private schools by bargaining with the schools on their skyrocketing fees for a possible reduction.