Managers of private colleges argue that if there is no review of allocations, they will have to close their doors. The management of more than 80 establishments across the island are worried.

The Federation of Private College Managers met on Saturday June 1 to take stock of the situation of private colleges. At the Bon et Perpétuel Secours college in Beau-Bassin, the president of the federation, Ramdass Ellayah, spoke about the situation within private secondary establishments. He called it critical.

“Private colleges are in the red. Slow death or sudden death, the situation is alarming. With the revision of subsidies, the way of calculating them, the interference in the administration of the school, we are witnessing the asphyxiation of private colleges. How long will private establishments last under this infusion? With the lack of dialogue with the Private Secondary Education Authority (PSEA), no broader consultations, no search for unanimity! »

For Ramdass Ellayah, the conditions imposed by the authority prevent them from providing quality education to students. He specifies that certain expenses incurred are not reimbursed by the authority. He cites, for example, the refusal to finance the replacement of a damaged water pump in a private college. “According to items recommended for grant purposes under the CGF 2024-2026 the Authority regrets to inform you that the water pump is not covered by the aforesaid list of expenditure. »

“With such conditions imposed, how can private colleges operate and how can we work on new projects in the interest of our future adults? »

Regarding the PSEA grants, he noted that “the grant mechanism was primarily a question of financing.” Today, it “makes the management of colleges impossible”.

According to the new regulations, you must first obtain the green light from the authority before making an expenditure.

“Managers shall seek prior endorsement of the Authority before embarking on any major project in particular for Non-Recurrent expenses. » For managers, there are certain decisions that: “defy all logic”. The president cites a broken TV in the audiovisual room of a college since January. Five months passed before it was repaired.

To ensure the smooth running of private colleges, it is entirely commendable that there is a control mechanism over the Operational Grant. But, according to him, it is imperative that the State does not abuse its status as regulator. “The mismanagement and interference of the PSEA in the operation of private colleges is encroaching on them! »

The office of the Private Secondary Education Authority in Beau-Bassin.

new formula

The director of the Private Secondary Education Authority (PSEA), Shiv Luchoomun, has taken note of criticism from members of the Federation of Private College Managers, regarding the new formula for financial management of colleges.

He explains that with the new formula (Comprehensive Grant Formula 2024 – 2026), private colleges now receive allocations as follows:

  • Compensation for Use of School Premises which varies from Rs 325,000 to Rs 750,000 monthly per college
  • Managerial Grant varying from Rs 40,530 to Rs 51,375 per month
  • For direct, administrative and non-recurring expenses, the amount can go up to Rs 664,000 per month.

These expenses exclude the salaries of teaching and non-teaching staff at private colleges that the PSEA pays directly.

The director highlighted that the main objective of the Compensation for Use of School Premises at private colleges is essentially for investments in infrastructure. Modernization, repair, maintenance and renovation of the building. The Compensation also covers all expenses that are not stipulated in the predefined criteria of the Comprehensive Grant Formula.

Direct expenses cover, among other things, classroom teaching materials, i.e.: chalk, markers, dusters, bristol paper, laboratory consumables/specialist rooms only, magazines/newspapers for the library; printing and stationery for exams; sporting goods, i.e. purchase of volleyballs, football, handball, basketball, tennis balls, javelins, badminton nets and shuttlecocks; costs of sports day, prize giving day and music day; and purchasing first aid kits.

administrative expenses

On the other hand, administrative expenses cover public service costs: electricity, water, telephone and Internet costs; cleaning and sanitary equipment; office stationery; consumables for printers and photocopiers; advertising costs for the recruitment of teaching and non-teaching staff; and travel costs for administrative tasks.

Some examples of non-recurring expenses include the acquisition of equipment and furniture for existing classrooms and specialized rooms; purchases of desktop computers and other IT accessories; purchasing new books; the purchase of sports equipment; improving the volleyball/basketball field, soccer field and tennis court; improvement of the staff room and canteen; and the acquisition of lockers for staff, among others.

The director of the PSEA notes that with the new formula, a private college receives on average Rs 728,559 monthly compared to an average of Rs 628,812 monthly in 2020, excluding the salaries of teaching and non-teaching staff.

He adds that as a regulator, PSEA's mandate is clear: to control the manner and purposes for which secondary school grants are used and to ensure that secondary school grants are used for their intended purposes.

The principal maintains that everything is done to ensure quality education for all children, ensuring that taxpayers' money is used wisely and with complete transparency.

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