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In an initial clampdown on private schools with dilapidated facilities, Acting Education Minister, Dr. Mator Kpangbai Wednesday shut John Wulu High School on Capitol Bypass due to “filthy conditions”, and ordered the senior division to move to GW Gibson High School while the Monrovia Demonstration Elementary School will accommodate the junior high section until a further decision is taken.
He also asked the principal of John Wulu School to refund all fees and tuitions paid buy prospective students.
Continuing his weeklong inspection of private schools ahead of the new academic year, Dr. Kpangbai threatened to deal with private schools involved in arbitrary increase in school fees.
He expressed dismay over facilities of some private schools and said government is studying the situation to take appropriate actions.
“Our technicians have all of the information. We are going to look at them and make the appropriate decision. I called the head of the Catholic Secretariat yesterday, and told him that we need to meet to discuss this issue. And at the appropriate time, we will meet and take a decision,” Dr. Kpangbai noted.
He accused St. Theresa’s Convent and the Cathedral Catholic High Schools of inflated their tuitions.
He said information sheet available to the Education Ministry shows that both schools have already skyrocketed their tuition ahead of the 2012/2013 academic year.
Last semester, parents paid LD$16,000 at the St. Teresa Covent. But, this year, the amount has increased to LD$27,000 for students at the senior high level,” he cried.
“As you saw yesterday, some schools have inflated their fees. Some of them have already doubled their tuitions and we don’t know why,” Dr. Kpangbai told this paper in an exclusive interview.
He said the Ministry of Education has already earmarked some pro-active measures aimed at curbing rising tuition within the Catholic school system.
Catholic Archbishop Jerome Ziegler this year appealed to government for subsidies in order to solve the mounting tuition problem.
“Government has now improved salaries of teachers. In order to maintain qualified staff we need to pay them well and provide them with other attractive immunities,” he told this paper April in an interview.
“The government needs to come in to provide us with some subsidies so as to ease the tension of hike in tuition and other problems.”