The Ministry of Education (MoED) urged the German Embassy School to suspend a proposed tuition fee increment, in a letter it wrote on April 29, 2021.
In the letter sent to the school, the Ministry urges the suspension of the proposed tuition fee increment until it ensures that the move doesn’t stand in conflict with the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) signed between the two parties in 2007 and the complaint lodged by parents is settled.
State Minister of Education, Huria Ali, told The Reporter that the Ministry had been receiving several complaints, both verbally and in written form, from a group of parents over the case.
According to the 2007 MoU agreement, which The Reporter has obtained, there are three forms of enrollment. Accordingly, those who quality for enrollment include: pupils previously enrolled in German language school and who have returned from abroad, first grade descendants of alumni who are bridge builders between the two countries, and pupils from families who were, are or might be posted to Germany on business or as a diplomatic staff.
The school’s move to make tuition fee increment will be applied to pupils holding Ethiopian passports, allegedly revoking the privileges they have been endowed by the 2007 MoU to pay a reasonable tuition fee unlike full tuition paying students whose fees are covered by the organizations their parents work for.
However, the school insisted it will not extend this privilege to these pupils and made an increment as of the end of April 2021. Nevertheless, the Ministry intervened and urged them to suspend the increment until it investigates the issue and settles the matter with the participation of the parties involved.
Although The Reporter sent an email requesting German school officials to comment on the matter, no respond was received until the time the paper went into print.
In an email response to The Reporter, Ambassador of Germany to Ethiopia, Stephan Auer said that the school Board has worked very hard and invested many hours and weekends to further improve a sustainable model based on German education quality, diversity, clear regulations and procedures and a financially healthy foundation.
Auer mentioned the school has offered discounts for 69.3 percent of all students, which corresponds to a significant amount of lost revenue.
Auer further remarked “What has changed is, however, the difference between reduced and full-payer. Families (Ethiopian Nationals and Non-Nationals) with lower income can still apply for a discount, but there is no automatic mechanism anymore – the necessity has to be proven.”
“This is, in short, the issue some of the parents are complaining about. We do not see that the school’s decision contravenes with the MoU of 2007,” the Ambassador added.
Just a few weeks ago, the Ministry approved a directive which demands 28 international and community schools operating in Ethiopia establish a school board, parent’s committee, and a student’s council composed of the school community.