Tuition/Examination Fees : Actors Examine Hurdles, Seek Way Forward

A workshop on the electronic payment of tuition fees and official examinations took place yesterday July 16, 2019 in Yaounde.

Since the introduction of an electronic method of payment of tuition fees and fees for both competitive and official examinations in Government Secondary Schools in the country, the dust is yet to settle on the problems the system seems to have created for actors in the education community. After one year of its application, the Minister of Secondary Education, Nalova Lyonga, yesterday July 16, 2019, chaired a workshop to enhance the capacity of those involved in the electronic payment of tuition and examination fees. Its objective is to improve transparency, accountability and traceability in the management of school funds.
With the launch of the digital school system, parents, teachers and other actors in the sector have not stopped complaining of the problems encountered for it to be efficient. Although the digital system took off successfully during the 2018-2019 academic year, the mobile operators charged with collecting and transferring the funds to the State treasury say the performances of the system went on in all the regions of the country with major difficulties encountered. The General Manager of MTN Mobile Money, Alain Claude Nono, on behalf of mobile operators, said they faced delay and inaccuracy in the disbursement of funds collected for schools. As such, schools faced financial limitations in carrying out their daily activities as confirmed by the principal of Government Bilingual High School, Nylon Brazzaville in Douala, George Mutebe Ntongwe. 
Furthermore, parents and students did not only face the problem of being unable to produce a physical receipt for their payment but also decry the obstacles to even carry out such a payment in rural areas with constant power cuts or no electricity and internet services.  The Minister of Secondary Education joined mobile operators to announce that a commercial bank has been appointed for flexibility and agility in the management of funds collected by the different operators. Before the end of this month, the Ministry of Secondary Education will share the rules between Afriland First Bank and the different actors in the education community. This is to remove the delays school authorities faced in collecting funds allocated to their schools from the State treasury deposited by the different mobile operators. The Afriland First Bank staff said through certain modalities, they are henceforth charged with splitting payments between schools and MINESEC accounts as soon as payment is received from mobile operators. 

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