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Ministry cracks down on school application fees amid rising demand

Written by on May 16, 2024

Khomas regional director of education, arts and culture Paulus Nghikembua says schools are not allowed to sell application forms for more than N$10.

He says the selling of application forms for N$50 goes against a directive by the ministry.

“We had sent out a directive that says the schools can only ask a maximum of N$10,” he says, adding that in 2023, the ministry warned schools against charging parents for applications, saying admission should not be turned into a money-making scheme.

Education ministry deputy executive director Edda Bohn yesterday confirmed the commencement of applications for grades one and eight for 2025 from 15 May to 14 June 2024.

The beginning of the 2024 school year saw parents flock to schools in attempts to seek placement for their children.

Executive director of education, arts and culture Sanet Steenkamp, in the beginning of the 2024 school year, said the ministry concluded the construction of 537 classrooms and 77 sanitary stations over a period of five months for the 2023/24 financial year, which cost N$225 million.

However, the question that remains is will this be enough to cater to the growing number of children that need school placement?

Parents were lined up outside Orban Primary School yesterday morning in the hope of securing a spot for their child in 2025.

Principal Jan Cloete said the school can cater for up to 35 pupils per class and sells about 200 applications.

“If there is space available after, then we certainly try to accommodate everyone. We don’t want our kids to be at home instead of at school, so we will try our level best,” he said.

Paulus Nghikembua

According to Cloete, the requirement is actually 25 learners per teacher, but the school caters to pupils by allowing 35 in class.

He said on rare occasions, the school will allow 40 pupils per class.

Maanga, an aunt to twins needing placement in Grade 1 in 2025, said she was sent by her sister, who is out of town, to enroll the twins at the school, but was denied two applications when she could not provide proof that she needed two applications.

“When I got into the office I saw that there were about 4 applications left. I told them I needed two applications, but she said that I need to provide two certified copies of the twins’ birth certificates,” Maanga said.

Maanga said this causes an inconvenience to her, as she has to take time from work to stand in the queues to get application forms for the twins.

An unnamed school has confirmed that they received instructions to not engage with any media representative and to withhold releasing any information to the media.

The ministry is yet to respond to questions sent to it by The Namibian.

The post Ministry cracks down on school application fees amid rising demand appeared first on The Namibian.

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