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The Addis Ababa Education Bureau (AAEB) and Consumer Protection Authority are both investigating 106 private schools based in Addis Ababa for what some say are unreasonable tuition and registration fee hikes.
Apparently tuition rates in this school year increased between 20 to 80 percent at various schools, according to AAEB.
If found guilty the schools could face fines as high as ten percent of what they collected from the students.
Yemechewal Gebretsadik, inspector of private schools at AAEB says some schools have dramatically increased prices. He event pointed out one school which is selling a book for 850 birr. He said that while it is common for tuition prices to increase, they need to have a sound reason for doing so.
Some of parents who talked to Capital said they are moving their children to more affordable schools.
ìWe will have to move our children to government schools because we cannot cope with the amount of money charged by most private schools,î said Zinashe Tayae, whose children study at a private school around Megenaga.
Abebe Taye another parent said ìI am being forced to revise my budget and forego other needs. I have even reduced meals in order to save money for my childrenís tuition fees. I also plan to cut back on their pocket money and other scholastic materials so as to pay for them.íí
School administrators argue that increasing teacherís salaries and the ever increasing rental prices have forced them to increase tuition fees.
ìThe cost of everything has risen. We have several services that require money such as a computer laboratory and school vans. Water and electricity tariffs have all increased so raising rates is our only option,î one private school owner said.
Tilahune Fasil an owner of primary school in Yeka Sub City said that on paper the city administration has supported school construction but in reality many private schools do not have enough land and they teach in spaces which are narrow and sometimes they even lack desk space for their students.
He added that this affects the schoolís activity because they are one of the few that take students with learning difficulties.
This year, in Addis Ababa alone, 56 schools joined the cityís 858 private educational institutions, bumping the number to 914, of which 233 are high schools?