In Madagascar, the constitution requires the state to organize “public education, free and accessible to all,” but in fact, school, even public, is far from free. In addition to tuition fees, the parents of students often have to contribute to the payment of salaries to “Fram masters”, the teachers who only have the matriculation exam in their pocket. Given these significant costs for the most vulnerable households, many parents are unable to send their children to school.
as reported from Antanananarivo,Sarah Tétaud
On the island, 1 in 4 children do not go to school. Following a decision by the Council of Ministers, the President of the Republic also announced that registration fees would be completely free this year to avoid seeing dropout deteriorate during this period of crisis. economic aftermath. A welcome measure, but one that may well lead to new problems.
This Monday, October 26, was the start of the school year for all school children in public education on the island. In front of the gates to the companies, many parents came to accompany their offspring. Tsiky, a caretaker, has 3 children enrolled in Alasora Public College. For him who earns 250,000 ariary per. Month (€ 55), this exemption from tuition fees is a blessing.
“I am just happy with the decision. Normally it is 50,000 Ariary (€ 11) per. Children pr. School year. Today I just saved 150,000 ariary for my three children. What does not change, however, is that it is we, the parents, who pay the salaries to the Fram champions in January. And that’s 30,000 scars per year. Children ”
For his part, this director of a large company in the capital, he does not digest the news. Thanks to his remaining budget from last year, he has two months in reserve. Not anymore. The lack of tuition fees means 130 million Ariary less to run his college.
“It simply came to our notice then. Tuition fees are used to run the business, buy chalk, pay for minor repairs to administration desks, benches, computers, pay salaries to Fram masters and even organize exams for the end of the school year. So this morning I have already informed the parents of the students that we will have to see what we have to do if there is no subsidy from the state ”
At present, the government has not announced any increase in the budget allocated to the operation of public schools. Nevertheless, this measure is crucial to prevent the observed boom in the number of enrollments in certain regions, following the announcement of free fees, from being marred by companies not being able to carry out their training mission.