Dear MOE, We, a group of concerned citizens of the Republic of Liberia, write to bring to your attention the suffering we are going through as a result of the unreasonably and unbearably exorbitant tuition and registration fees private schools are subjecting us to and to ask you, being the requisite authority, to please do something about it.
You see, Education Ministry officials, most Liberian private schools are doing to parents and guardians what we term “cut throat, no blood”; meaning, they are eating our eyeball. To put it bluntly, they are exploiting us. They are stealing from us big time. It is what one of our fellow citizens has termed “broad-day robbery,” considering the fact that they are that brave to place such stealing on some equally criminally prepared document called Information Sheet. It is extremely irritatingly unacceptable. We, therefore, ask that you at the Ministry of Education do something about it.
As you may recall, in our first letter to you on these issues, we mentioned something about the one-sheet information sheets that a lot of schools are selling LD150.00 or LD100.00, which many of us citizens, especially those of us that are parents, consider broad-day stealing, robbery or exploitation. We wonder you people are able to do anything about it or will leave us to cry our own cry, as our people would say.
In the same first letter, we also said something about certain schools selling student hand books to old students every year, even though nothing new has been placed or written in those hand books. It may also surprise that, in most instances, when these books are paid for, schoolauthorities deliberately fail to give them to parents. Isn’t this pure robbery? We would like to know whether you at the Ministry of Education are able to do anything about this,or you will just allow these schools to continuously rob and exploit us. Are you people capable of doing anything?
We also wish to bring to your attention another very disturbing development at some of the schools, and that has to do with how much they are charging for ID Cards. There are schools charging LD300.00 for an ordinary ID Card. And as if to tell parents that that criminal-oriented exploitation were not already more than painful, the same schools are charging LD150 for an ID Card rope. In short, certain schools are charging LD450.00 per ID Card. Can you imagine? And these are not any better ID Cards. Will you please intervene and stop these schools from robbing us in this manner? Our cup of patience is running over.
We would also like to inform you about the amount some schools are charging for what they term Gala Celebration. Some schools are charging LD500.00 per child, and it is a compulsory fee. Imagine those of us who have three or four children in such schools. Our burdens are made worse. And it is written in the 2012/2013 Calendar of Events prepared by the Ministry of Education that gala day celebrations should be a one-day thing. And here are some schools charging LD500.00 for such a celebration. Isn’t this pure exploitation, pure robbery?
Then there is another annoying part – breakage fee payment – where some schools are charging LD350.00 for that. And, remember, these are schools that also have pre-nursery and nursery classes, with some kids at age 2. These are also charged LD350.00 as breakage fee. How much breakage can a two-year-old child engage in, especially considering the kind of chairs and tables or benches the schools have? This is not only nonsensical; it is exploitative. We wonder the Ministry of Education is able to do something about, or maybe it is just how things will be. To be continued…