Minister urges parents to pay fees
The Minister of Education Sports and Culture, Loau Keneti Sio, has has appealed to parents to cooperate with schools and pay students’ Parents Teachers Association (P.T.A.) fees.
Parents have been up in arms over the fees with one parent, Autagavaia Salati Salu, taking to social media to criticise the decision of a school committee to remove students whose parents did not pay.
However, the Minister told Samoa Observer that school committees had no powers to remove the students from classes over the non-payment of P.T.A fees.
Though he expressed disappointment that a majority of the parents continue to delay payment of the fees or not pay for their children.
“Sometimes it’s the best option for the committee to have their ground rules in handling things because some parents don’t care about not paying,” he said.
“But yes under the Government’s rule, students are not allowed to be removed from their classrooms because of that.”
Referring to ground rules and regulations in villages, Loau reminded parents of the risk they face if they disobeyed, when penalty fees are applied.
He said his village punishes parents who do not pay $20 of their P.T.A fees for $200 instead which he supports.
Autagavaia’s post stated: “To the Minister of Education and the M.E.S.C management, please is there any right for the school committee to remove the students from the schools for not paying their P.T.As?”
“We understand that school fees are free now but now the students were removed by the Finance Committee because of the fees.”
“They’re missing their subjects which is why we ask if there’s any change of policies as the longer a person stays in the committee is the sweeter they’re reaping from the money which the parents work hard for.”
This Facebook post by the angry parent had 191 shares on social media with a majority of the parents expressing similar sentiments.