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US News Madagascar: free tuition fees for this year

02:25  27 october  2020
02:25  27 october  2020 Source:   rfi.fr

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Le ministère de l'Education nationale à Antananarivo (image d'illustration). © Sarah Tétaud / RFI The Ministry of National Education in Antananarivo (illustrative image).

In Madagascar, the Constitution requires the State to organize "public education, free and accessible to all" but in fact, school, even public, is far from free. In addition to school fees, parents of students often have to contribute to the payment of the salaries of "Fram masters", those teachers who only have the baccalaureate in their pocket. Faced with these considerable costs for the most vulnerable households, many parents cannot send their children to school.

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On the island, 1 in 4 children do not attend school. Also, following a decision taken in the Council of Ministers, the President of the Republic announced that registration fees would be completely free this year, to avoid seeing the dropout rate worsen during this period of crisis. economic post-containment. A welcomed measure but which could well lead to new problems.

This Monday, October 26 was the start of the school year for all the schoolchildren in public education on the island. In front of the gates of the establishments, many parents came to accompany their offspring. Tsiky, a caretaker, has 3 children enrolled in the public college in Alasora. For him, who earns 250,000 ariary per month (55 €), this waiver of tuition fees is a blessing.

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“I am very happy with this decision. Normally this is 50,000 Ariary (€ 11) per child, per school year. Today, I just saved 150,000 Ariary for my three children. What does not change, however, is that it is we, the parents, who will pay the salaries of the Fram masters in January. And that's 30,000 ar per child "

For his part, this director of a large establishment in the capital, he does not digest the news. With his remaining budget from last year, he has two months to spare. No more. The lack of tuition means 130 million Ariary less to run his college.

“This is a huge shortfall for us. The tuition fees are used to run the establishment, buy chalk, pay for small repairs to tables, benches, administration computers, pay the salaries of Fram masters, and even organize exams. end of the school year. So this morning, I have already announced to the parents of the students that we will have to see what we are going to do if there is no subsidy from the State ”

For now , the government has not announced any increase in the budget allocated to the operation of public schools. A crucial measure to prevent the boom in the number of enrollments in certain regions, following the announcement of free fees, from being marred by the impossibility for institutions to carry out their educational mission.

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