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Rapapa speaks on LCE fee controversy

Business

Kamohelo Makhofola

Professor Ntoi Rapapa, Minister of Education and Training, this week responded to the uproar surrounding the suspension of Lesotho College of Education (LCE) students due to escalated fees.

Regarding the situation where the National Manpower Development Secretariat (NMDS) failed to cover the increased tuition fee, Rapapa explained that the college administration passed the financial burden to the students, resulting in suspensions for those unable to pay.

This move sparked a student-led strike in protest.

“In the past few weeks, students had a tuition fee protest after their management had increased fees which the NMDS had failed to pay due to a tight budget,” Rapapa stated.

He explained that in response, he held discussions with the Student Representative Council (SRC) to understand their stance on the matter.

Subsequently, an agreement was reached: students could return to classes without being required to sign agreements to cover the hiked fees themselves. Moreover, the college administration committed to releasing the students’ academic results.

“The school has received a court order mandating the immediate reinstatement of students, as advocated by the Student Union’s legal representative,” Rapapa added.

Highlighting his dialogue with the SRC, the minister mentioned that they expressed their intent to pursue legal action against the college regarding the fee increment, ensuring it would not disrupt academic activities.

He assured the nation that both the Ministry of Education and Training and the college administration would handle the issue while respecting the decisions of the courts.

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