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FLASHBACK: Fomer Ministry of General Education Permanent Secretary Jobbicks Kalumba taking a class in Ndola recently. Dr Kalumba says the reduction in user fees is meant to ensure that every child has access to education. PICTURE: PRISCILLA CHIPULU

Where do user fees go?

MIRRIAM Lungu, 26, a domestic worker in Lusaka’s Chalala, is currently a happy woman. The reason is simple.
But it has nothing to do with her employer increasing her salary beyond the one prescribed for domestic workers by Government. It has also got nothing to do with her getting a new job to better her current one.
The reason why she is happy is that Government has reduced user fees in secondary schools starting next term.
“I stopped school in Grade Nine because my parents could not afford to pay. This made me get married and become a mother at a tender age. I have always wanted to go back to school but the fees have been hindering me,” says Mirriam, a mother of two who is currently divorced.
“But with the new fees, I will start night school. I want to go back to school so that I can find a better paying job and be able to take care of my children.”
Mirriam’s situation is common among those who are economically disadvantaged.