Mbeeya Urban lawmaker Joseph Mbilinyi has said that over 75 per cent of people visiting his office to explain about their problems want support to pay school fees for their children.
Mbilinyi said this at a public rally held in Isanga ward in Mbeya city recently.
Following the situation, he requested the people and education stakeholders to contribute to the Education fund established in the constituency in order to support students whose parents and guardians have failed to pay school fees for them.
“I'm deeply saddened by children who fail to continue with studies, especially at advanced level of secondary education," he said.
He said the policy of his party, Chadema, was to ensure that education became free, and criticised the policy of the ruling Chama Cha Mapinduzi (CCM) to commercilise education.
He said he had decided to start the education fund in the consitutuency so everyone would be able to go to school.
He said the fund, known as Mbeya Educational Trust Fund, would be able to reach its
objectives if all stakeholders supported it by sending in their contributions.
“If every resident here contributes only 1,000/-, and if we get 50,000 contributors, we would be able to collect 50m/-. With this sum we will be able to sent to university a minimum of 10 students. This would be a good beginning, and once people start seeing the fruits of the fund, more would contribute and therefore we would be able to sponsor even more students," he argued.
He said the fact that there were students whose education was cut short because of
lack of school fees it was the nation that was at a loss as it lost potential future leaders who could have helped it make progress in various sectors.
He argued that if the society did not put in place appropriate measures to help parents and guardians support their children go to school, then some might be forced to engage even in illegal activities, provided they raised money with which to send their children to school.
He said another bad scenario was of an increase in the number of street children because their parents could not raise school fees for them.
The MP launched the education at the end of last year. Currently it has savings amounting to 480,000/- and pledges amounting to 8m/-.