Query: Are teachers allowed to suspend pupils due to unpaid school fees?
Response: A principal or teacher of a state school may not, in any way, prejudice a learner or discriminate against a learner on the grounds that a parent has failed or refused to pay the school development fund contribution for such a learner, as stipulated in sections 25(12) and 59 of the Education Act of (2001).
Parents and guardians who are unable to pay school fees may apply for exemption from the payment of tuition, boarding or other fees. Section 39 of the Education Act states that “the Minister, in the prescribed manner and form, and on such conditions as the Minister may determine, may partially or fully exempt any learner or any category of learners from payment of tuition, boarding or any other fees.
With regards to the suspension of learners from school, in accordance with Section 59 (1), if the principal of a state school has reason to believe that a learner at that school, or accommodated in a hostel of that school, is guilty of misconduct, the principal may charge the learner in writing with misconduct. However, in this case (regarding school fees), this may not be applicable.
The Ministry would also like to point out that education at all public schools from Grade 0- 7 is free, following the implementation of free education and the provision of grants to schools in 2013. The Ministry is also set to introduce fee-free secondary education in 2016.
Johanna Absalom, Public Relations Officer, Ministry of Education, Arts and Culture, E-mail Address: Johanna.Absalom@moe.gov.na/ 061-2933358