DURBAN –South African schools are pleading for parents to pay their children’s school fees, despite the school closure.
The school closures imposed on March 18 announced by President Cyril Ramaphosa as a measure of curbing the rapid spread of the Covid-19 pandemic. Soon after, the President announced a national lockdown which ends on April 30.
It is unclear when schools will reopen.
However, parents are calling for fee exemptions or for fees to be reduced as children are not using school facilities at the moment.
"The kids are not at school, the economy is suffering - we cannot pay for a service that we are not using. Its tough out there for all sectors," said Kalay Naidoo, a parent.
Teachers are paid by either or by the School’s Governing Body (SGB). School fees are also used to help maintain the schools, provide study material for children and pay maintenance staff that fall under the school’s Governing Body.
There is an ongoing debate on whether parents should be liable to pay their children’s school fees in full or partially.
Matakanye Matakanye, the secretary of the National Association of School Governing Bodies said, “The problem is big because there are schools that have hired teachers and now parents say they don’t have money. Teachers will not get paid.
"We have advised schools to apply for (funding from the) UIF. We ask that parents who can, pay their fees so that the school can pay teachers. We plead with parents to help us with this because we have this problem because of the lockdown. This is the time to work together,” said Matakanye.