Under fire Minister of Primary and Secondary Education Minister, Lazarus Dokora has dashed to the defense of his remarks on the use of goats as an alternative payment method for school fees saying people did not clearly understand his stance.
Speaking to the media during the Independence Day celebrations at the National Sports Stadium, Dokora said his view on the school fees payment through livestock was misunderstood which has resulted in people making satirical jokes over the proposed move.
The Primary and Secondary education Minister was recently quoted in the media saying government is formulating a policy framework where parents can settle their children’s fees by using goats as a form of payment triggering a serious backlash from the social media as people took turns to create jokes around the matter.
In defense of his recent statements, Dokora said there was nothing new about parents paying school fees using livestock but elaborated that this was done indirectly as parents would sell livestock and raise money for school fees.
“There is nothing new about this system where parents pay school fees through livestock. However, people blew the statement out of proportion. What I meant was that parents can sell their livestock and organise through the school local authorities to pay their children’s school fees.
“Parents should make necessary arrangements with their schools so that they at least are allowed to raise the school fees through selling their livestock,” said Dokora.
Quizzed on what he thinks on the criticism surrounding his proposed idea, Dokora said “Do they have an alternative? If they have any, then they can use that one but this is a better way.”
Meanwhile, Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Primary and Secondary Education Dr Sylvia Utete-Masango was quoted in the media defending Dokora’s sentiments saying that the satire around the whole matter is a sign that people failed to understand the noble concept which could be the answer to schools being owed fees by parents.
“I must say people sometimes tend to laugh off at some serious issues without getting to understand the real meaning of the context behind the proposed policy.
“Look, a number of parents simply owe these schools and we are simply saying they can provide expertise and set off some of their debts. They can as well look around their environs by selling goats and cattle to set off such debts and it’s no laughing matter as most schools are now incapacitated because of these debts,” said Utete Masango.
Since the government adopted the policy that no school children should be sent away from school for failing to pay school fees, parents now owe schools thousands of dollars in unpaid fees.