WATCH: Schools at breaking point over fees

A survey by the credit bureau reveals that parents are struggling to pay school fees. With the current economic climate exacerbated by the COVID-19 pandemic, schools are falling in the ranking of priorities. eNCA's senior reporter Aviwe Mtila filed this report. #DStv403#eNCA

JOHANNESBURG - A survey by the credit bureau reveals that parents are struggling to pay school fees. 

With the current economic climate exacerbated by the COVID-19 pandemic, schools are falling in the ranking of priorities. 

The ripple effect of this has left many schools struggling to survive.

Pupils are getting back to school. But economic challenges have left many parents unable to pay school fees. This has left many schools battered.

"We anticipated close to 34-million in terms of school fees, and we actually received far less than 50-percent of it. That has actually had a very negative impact on the productivity of the institution," says Melanie Kallie, principal at Hyde Park High School.

"We, unfortunately, had to retrench some of our staff, and some staff got pay cuts for about two or three months," says John Skelton, a principal at Bryanston High School.

"The worry is that this year it looks worse than last year," says Skelton.

READ: Gauteng schools warned not to withhold report cards over unpaid fees

One teacher union says the projected 5.3-percent budget cut to education only adds to the current woes.

"It shocks us right now that for the next few years we must expect education cuts," says Xolani Fakude from Sadtu.

"How do we expect education budget cuts in a country that has got a National Development Plan that places education as a priority?" he says 

The Gauteng Education Spokesperson, Steve Mabona, deferred the budget cuts to National Treasury.

But he is urging parents to do their utmost to pay school fees

"If you can't, make the necessary arrangements," he says.

"Because you can't ignore the school's call when they remind you of these payments," he adds.

Mabona goes on to say that the department knows that COVID played a major role, but arrangements need to be made as to when parents can pay, even in small amounts, and when.

For more, watch the video above

Source
eNCA

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