The Ministry of Education, Science and Technology would like to inform the general public that Government, in its quest to improvequality of learning environment through properresourcing of secondary, Tertiary and Higher Education institutions, has with effect from the 2015/16 academic year reviewed fees in all Secondary Schools, Public Teacher Training Colleges and at Domasi College of Education. Furthermore, Government has also decided that with effect from the 2015/16 Academic year, there will not be Government sponsored students selected to Domasi College of Education and Public Universities. All students will be on self sponsorship basis.Details concerning the revision of the tuition fees in each of the cases and the abolition of the selection of Government sponsored students to Domasi College of Education and Public Universities are as follows:-
REVISION OF SECONDARY SCHOOL FEES IN PUBLIC SECONDARY SCHOOL
Revised secondary school fees will come into effect from 4th January, 2016. The revision is aimed at improving the provision of various resources and services needed in the schools and thus improve the quality of education and service delivery.The revised fees to be paid termlyinclude tuition fees set at (MK3,000), Textbook Revolving Fund (MK3,000), General Purpose Fund (GPF) (MK2,000), MCDE module fee (MK1,000) and Centre fee (MK7,000) for Open Secondary Schools and Development Fund (MK2,000) which in the past varied between different schools depending on the project being undertaken in a particular school. All these fees, except for tuition fees, shall be retained and used at the school.The new fees will greatly assist schools to improve standards by providing adequate teaching and Learning materials to achieve the recommended pupil to textbook ratio of 1:1. Similarly, revision of MCDE module fee will help to meet realistic production costs. The increase of GPF will help improve student socialwelfare services and sanitary conditions in schools. All these will contribute to improved learning outcomes in public secondary schools.The revision and standardizationof boarding fees is a response to concerns raised by parentsover the increase in the price of goods and services on the open market. In fact, most schools with the support of Parents’ and Teachers’ Associations (PTAs) and School Management Committees (SMCs) have been requesting the Ministry of Education, Science and Technology to raise boarding fees. Current figures show that the real boarding cost per student is at least MK24, 000 per term. This shows that the current official boarding fees (MK1,500) being paid in the four National Government secondary schools are too low and unrealistic. The Ministry has therefore raised boarding fees to enable schools to run boardingfacilities effectively and efficiently and also to bring about uniformity in fees charged across schools.Increasing boarding fees in secondary schools will, among other things, improve the diet offered to students in boarding secondary schools as the revenue collected will be sufficient to meet the current gap in boarding needs, reduce cases of indiscipline arising from complaints of poor diet, reduce chances of schools accruing huge debts for foodstuffs, avoid diversion of funds meant for school development/ maintenance and other purposesto purchase foodstuffs.All secondary schools are therefore called upon to adhere to the new government fees limits.
TEACHER TRAINING COLLEGES
Students in Teacher Training Colleges will now be required to pay K105,000 as fees per student per year for their training as a Teacher unlike in the previous years when they were not required to pay any fees. Instead of paying fees, they were receiving an allowance of K1500per month. The K105,000 fees per year per student is a mere 20% contribution to the actual cost of training and thus Government willbe required to contribute 80% of the cost of training. The K105,000 is actually lower than what other students pay for similar teacher training programmes which are offered by DAPP which charges K156,000 per student per year and no upkeep allowances are paid to the students. However when the students will be conducting teaching practice during their secondyear of training , they will be entitled to an allowance of K20,000 per month which Government will be obligated to provide. In an event that there will be students who will not be able to pay the tuition fee of K105,000 per annum because they are needy, such students will have to apply for either loans or bursaries.
DOMASI COLLEGE OF EDUCATION
In the case of Domasi College of Education, the revision of tuition fees is aimed at bringing about parity in the amount of tuition fees payable for similar programmes. Before the revision, the College had Government sponsored students who were paying K1,500 per year for either a Diploma or Degree coursewhereas self sponsored students were paying K180,000 for a Diploma course and K220,000 for a Degree course. The revision of fees has removed discrimination in the fee structure. After all, students who graduate with either diplomas or degrees from Domasi College of Education are employed in the public service onequal terms with those who graduate with diplomas and degrees from other Public Institutions of Higher Learning.
Prior to the abolition of selecting Government sponsored students, Public Universities were selecting Government sponsored students who were paying lesser tuition fees than self sponsored students. For instance, a Government sponsored student would be required to pay K55,000 per year whereas a self sponsored student would be required to pay K275,000 per year. In order to have uniformity of tuition fees for students pursuing similar programmes, Government has decided that with effect from 2015/16 academic year, there will not be Government Sponsored Students to be selected in Public Universities. The previous arrangements of having Government sponsored and Self sponsored students was a recipe for disaffection amongst students and created unfortunate impression that some students were more favoured by Government than others. It is however worth noting that Government sponsored students who were enrolled in Public Universities during the past years up to 2014 will still be eligible to receive upkeep allowances until they complete their studies. In contrast, students who have been selected to pubic Universities from 2015 onwards will not be eligible to receive upkeep allowances.
Students who will not be able to pay the revisedfees in Secondary Schools, will continue to be assisted by Government to access bursaries. With regard to the current teacher trainees in TTCs, Government will provide bursaries to deserving needy students. Needy students who will be selected to pursue courses at Domasi College of Education which is an institution affiliated to the University of Malawi and also needy students who will be pursing courses at both Public and Private Universities, will be eligible to apply for recently introduced Higher Education Students’ Loans and Grants which are being managed and administered by Higher Education Students’ Loans and Grants Board.
The potency of Government to provide its citizens with either heavily subsidized or virtually free secondary, tertiary and higher education is increasingly becoming less tenable in the face of a limited resource envelope and competing priorities. This trend is not only evolving in Malawi but also in many countries inthe world. Government has a choice of either having education system which is under resourced and uncompetitive or very well resourced through the co-sharing of costs between Government and individual beneficiaries. Any well meaning Malawian will choose the latter. That is the direction that the Malawi Government has taken while at the same time ensuring that needy students are notleft behind in their quest for quality education