The Episcopal Conference of Malawi (ECM) has announced an upward revision of boarding fees in assisted Catholic secondary schools for the upcoming 2023-2024 academic year. The decision comes in response to the economic challenges facing the country and the increasing difficulties faced by school headteachers in sustaining their institutions.
In a letter addressed to the Secretary for Education, Ministry of Education, and other education stakeholders, the Bishop Chairman for Education, Most Rev Thomas Luke Msusa, expressed the concerns raised by headteachers regarding the financial constraints they are encountering. After careful consideration, the ECM Plenary, held in June 2023, approved a 15% increase in boarding fees to address the existing economic challenges.
Effective from the first term of the 2023-2024 school year, boarding fees in all assisted Catholic secondary schools will be adjusted from the current K200,000 per term to K230,000 per term. The new fees also include a revised contribution of K6,000 per learner per term, allocated to the Catholic Education Commission offices and the Association of Catholic Education in Malawi (ACEM). Each of the Diocesan Education Offices, the National Education Office, and ACEM will receive K2,000 from the contribution.
Diocesan Education Coordinators and Archdioceses have been tasked with communicating this information to the respective headteachers in their jurisdictions. It is expected that parents and guardians will be informed of the fee adjustments before the commencement of the new academic year.
The ECM acknowledges that the increase is a modest one considering the high cost of living experienced by citizens. The decision to raise fees is made with the aim of ensuring that disadvantaged households can still afford to send their children to school. While recognizing the challenges faced by headteachers in the current tough economic climate, the ECM trusts that they will continue to manage the schools effectively.
The ECM has urged all headteachers to adhere to the recommended boarding fee increase and to remit the contributions to the Education Offices in a timely manner. The conference remains committed to providing quality education while considering the financial circumstances of students’ families.