By R. Sittamparamnews@nst.com.my
KUALA LUMPUR: Parents facing problems paying their children's annual school fees, including parent-teacher association (PTA) fees, can stagger the payments over the year. Education director-general Tan Sri Alimuddin Mohd Dom said schools had been advised to be lenient, in particular to those with several school-going children. Alimuddin said parents facing financial difficulties could write in to the school authorities. He added that the schools should not pressure parents into paying the fees in one lump sum.
He said additional fees, at RM24.50 for primary school pupils, covered co-curriculum (RM3), internal examination papers (RM6), sports (RM6), religious or moral education (RM6), Malaysian School Sports Council (RM2) and insurance (RM1.50). Secondary school pupils have to pay RM32.50 -- RM6 for co-curriculum, examination papers (RM10), sports (RM6), religious or moral education (RM6), Malaysian School Sports Council (RM4) and insurance (RM1.50).There's an easy way to plan for retirement. Find out how. He said schools that wished to charge additional fees for other activities and services would have to get the approval of the PTA.
"The PTA fees vary from school to school. They are for services such as tuition or infrastructure development as decided by the PTA and school head. Any increase in the fees would have to be approved by the state education director."
He added that the PTA had been advised to collect payment for one child from parents with more than one child studying in the same school.
Parents Action Group for Education president Datin Noor Azimah Abdul Rahim said the PTA fees could range from RM10 to RM100, depending on the school location and parents' background.
She lamented that despite the Education Ministry's advice, some PTAs were still collecting fees from parents for each of their children studying at the school. "The quantum of the fees collected by the PTA shows how active the association is. "PTAs which are active in holding fundraising events and attracting corporate support will charge lower fees, while the inactive ones are more demanding, being dependent on the fees."
Noor Azimah said most PTAs were compassionate and would waive the fees for poor parents or single parents, adding that they also ensured that facilities, such as toilets, were duly repaired without having to wait for government allocation. She said schools were also forced to impose additional fees for the purchase of items such as printer ink or software for computer laboratories.