ZANIS COPY – Education minister unhappy with reported exploitation of student candidates

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Education minister unhappy with reported exploitation of student candidates

Lusaka, February 8, ZANIS ——- The Ministry of Education has expressed dismay at the media reports purporting that some examination centres are overcharging candidates intending to sit for the 2013 Grade 12 General Certificate of Education Examination (GCE).

Education Minister John Phiri said in a statement made available to ZANIS that any centre charging examination fees beyond the approved fee for both external and internal candidates is committing an offence as it is in defiant of the ECZ guidelines on examination.

The Minister clarified that the only fees that are remitted to the ECZ from the centre are the examination fees as provided in the ECZ guidelines on the administration and management of examinations in Zambia.

Dr Phiri stated that centres and tuition fees are levied to GCE candidates as a service by the centres while the other fees charged by the centre are for purpose of administering the examinations which he said must be regulated by the Provincial Education Offices.

He said the alleged exorbitant fees charged by centres should not in any way be tied to the examination fees remitted to ECZ.

“According to the 2013 scale of examination fees, grade 12 internal candidates should pay KR8.50 as entry fee per candidate and KR5.5 subject fee per subject. For GCE candidates the entry fee is KR 25 per candidate and subject fee is KR 33.80 per subject,” Dr Phiri said.

He added that it is not mandatory for the would-be GCE candidates to pay and attend tuition at the centre adding that candidates are free to register for tuition at any centre of their choice.

The Minister has since directed the Director of Standards and Curriculum in his ministry to provide standard tuition and centre fees to be paid by GCE candidates in 2014 and further directed Provincial Education Officers to instruct all centres to abide by the 2013 scale of fees and also to regulate the high administrative fees charged by centres.

The minister said the directives are meant to ensure that education is affordable and accessible to all especially GCE students.

He further recommended to the ECZ to close or reprimand any GCE centres resisting the regulations and instructions saying government will not allow them, to exploit GCE candidates.