The high cost of education at top Midlands schools

2020-01-20 10:38

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One-on-one tutoring, unrivalled sporting facilities and extracurricular programmes to produce well-rounded children.

But that can come at a hefty price.

Fees at Midlands’ top schools can set parents back hundreds of thousands, with the most expensive — Hilton College — costing R321 890 for this year. Some of the most expensive schools in South Africa are based right here in the Midlands.

A Weekend Witness survey found the Hilton school to be the most expensive local school, followed by Michaelhouse and St Anne’s Diocesan School for Girls. Rounding up the list were The Wykeham Collegiate, Treverton College, St Charles’ College and Epworth School.

Fees at some of the schools fluctuated depending on whether the pupil is a border.

Schools also required certain levies for pupil development and extra murals, as well as hefty enrolment fees, which are non-refundable in most cases.

St Anne’s, for example, charges between R195 and R390 for music tuition, and its fees information says arrangements can be made for private coaching in dancing and sports.

Analysts agreed that paying extra to ensure your child has an enriched learning experience would be worth it.

“But it still boils down to the child’s own application and intention. You can’t make the child use the facilities or be successful,” said child potential expert Nikki Bush.

“Learning goes beyond books, and schools which offer a variety of opportunities for pupils to experience themselves is ideal. Healthy stimulation in the classroom is important, but the extra murals allows them to discover who they are.”

Bush said upmarket schools allowed pupils to leave school with more than just a good report card, but rather as a well-rounded person.

Dr Mlamuli Hlatshwayo, an education expert, said there was increasing distrust in public education because of concerns around trade union influence, teacher competence and the overall quality of learning.

He added that the disparity between top schools and those on the lower-end was an indication of wider inequalities along class and race lines in South Africa.

Hlatshwayo added, however, that the government could try to turn things around by addressing structural issues like repairing facilities and limiting the influence trade unions and SGB’s have on schools.

Most expensive Midlands schools in 2020:

Hilton College: R321 890

Michaelhouse: R303 600

St Anne’s: R230 040 for borders

Wykeham: R228 600 for borders

Treverton: R223 780 for borders

St Charles: R119 489.

Read more on:    pietermaritzburg

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