Learners at Private School sent home for non-payment

Some parents of learners at the Pro Ed Akademie Private School in Swakopmund are up in arms after their kids were allegedly shown the door for school fees in arrears. In an interview with namib times the school described the unfortunate situation as a last resort. “There usually is a long history attached to such cases,” said chairperson of the school board Wulff Wieland.

On Monday last week at least two learners attending the Pro Ed Akademie Private School were sent home. “I dropped off my son at the school like every day. I was told later that I should come and pick him up, because we are a bit behind on our payments,” said a concerned mother to namib times. She wishes to remain anonymous out of fear for victimization, but added that the “emotional trauma” caused to her family is severe.
“We definitely do not send any learner home from school when the parents are one or two months behind with their school fees,” said Wieland. “In fact, there are a couple of parents who owe quite substantial amount, but we usually sit down and draw up an agreement to repay the fees.”
According to Wieland the school issues a warning letter to parents if they fall behind on their payments. “Usually there are four or five attempts to work out a repayment plan. In many cases the letters and appeals are ignored, which is why as a last resort the learner is sent home. We are very, very, very reluctant to finally do that,” he continued saying. Wieland added that “we need to pay the teachers and if some people simply do not pay, we need to draw the line somewhere. Sometimes fees are outstanding for six months with no explanation.”
While talking about the ordeal of her child having been sent home, the parent said that “we appealed to the school to create a fund for assistance, but this idea was shot down.” “Exams start in three weeks. Why was my child taken out of school now and not afforded the opportunity to write his exams?” asked the parent. Wieland countered saying that “we always try to work out a plan to accommodate parents, who struggle financially.”
Wieland also said that some parents insist on having their child attend a private school, when they themselves cannot afford it. “Parents are aware of the school fees and if they cannot afford a private school, they should rather look at other options.”
“It is not fair to punish an innocent child, when the parents run into arrears,” said the concerned mother.

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