The Leader of Opposition, Hon. Matthew Wale, has expressed his disappointment at what seems to be a “perpetual crisis management” by the government in dealing with scholarships and the school fees policy.
Hon. Wale says, these two important considerations are annual cycles that are entirely foreseeable and the government is expected to be ahead in its planning for both.
He says it is simply inexcusable that come February in the New Year when schools have actually started, for the government to still be thinking about what its school fees policy is.
“This is simply irresponsible. None of the circumstances that require analysis are unique to Jan/Feb of 2021. This ‘Rapid schools survey’ that will inform the government’s school fees policy should have been completed and announced in 2020, way ahead of the start of the 2021 academic year,” says the Opposition Leader.
Hon. Wale goes on to add that, “Much the same comments can be made regarding the delay in scholarship decisions. It is highly irresponsible for the government to now announce in February 2021 that it is postponing scholarship awards to the second semester of 2021”.
“All the conditions for decision making regarding scholarships are reasonably well known, and there is nothing that should stand in the way of scholarships being decided and awarded. Statements by the Deputy Secretary of the Ministry of Education that it may take weeks or even months to make scholarship decisions are an excuse for negligence on the part of government”.
“These two situations give the perception that the government is perpetually in crisis management and is never ahead in terms of preparing for what are cyclical standing considerations, in our education system.
“It is highly regrettable, and the innocent victims are students. This situation is bordering on gross negligence on the part of government,” the Opposition Leader further adds.