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Government hikes community college fees

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By Patience Lunda:

Ministry of Labour has revised upwards fees for national technical colleges, community technical colleges and community skills development centres in the country.

In a circular dated January 21 2021, ministry officials indicate that the adjustment is a response to rising costs of training materials and college utilities.

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Secretary for Labour Dickson Chunga said Tuesday that the last time the fees were adjusted was in March 2012 and, overtime, prices of training materials and food materials have been increased.

“The ministry has the mandate to periodically review the fees in community technical colleges and community skills development centres but, most importantly, the cost of providing services has gone up, in terms of all the items they use in the provision of services,” Chunga said.

Following the adjustment, government-sponsored students will be paying K12,500 per term from K3,000 in community technical colleges and K8,000 from K3,000 in community skills development centres from April 12 2021.

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At national technical colleges, the new fees structure comprises boarding fees at K35,000, book fund at K10, 000 and tuition fee at K5, 000, all of which amount to K50,000.

Commenting on the increment, Youth Empowerment Towards Development Executive Director Yotam Ngwira said the fees had been adjusted at the wrong time when most households were facing economic hardships due to the Covid pandemic.

“Much as we appreciate that the government has not been increasing the fees, the adjustment is a huge blow to the youth, who are facing challenges associated with Covid. The government should have waited for this pandemic to end and for people to get back to their feet before effecting the adjustment,” he said.

The country has seven public colleges, 13 operational community technical colleges and 38 operational community skills development centres.

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