The cost of private education in Namibia: A hefty price for quality results

The decision to enroll a child in a private school can be a difficult one, especially when considering the cost. With reports of a decline in the performance of Grade 11 and 12 learners in public schools during the 2022 academic year, many parents are considering private education as an alternative.

The Brief conducted research to determine the current cost of private education in Namibia. Our findings reveal that while private schools promise a high-quality education and excellent results, they come with a high price tag.

On average, the lowest priced private schools in the country cost parents N$42,000 per annum per child, with some schools charging as much as N$145,000 per year. For non-Namibian parents or those who do not pay taxes in the country, the cost is even higher, with a minimum of N$66,000 per annum, and some schools charging over N$300,000 per year.

According to our survey of school fees for 2023, Windhoek International School emerged as the highest priced private school in the country. A child enrolled in Early Level 1-3 can expect to pay N$66,700 per year, while the standard rate for Levels 1 and 2 is N$79,800 and N$181,100 for Early Level 3. The fees continue to escalate as the child progresses through the grades, with parents paying N$81,000 for Grades 1 to 5, N$87,000 for Grade 6 and 7, N$98,000 for Grade 8, and so on.

The school's Grade 9-10 is levied at N$265,000 for its standard rate, and N$305,000 for Grade 11-12.

St Paul’s College also emerged with a high school fee structure, with Namibian taxpayers paying N$70,368 per annum for pre to Grade 6, N$76,968 for Grade 7 and N$83,568 for Grades 8-9. The fees increase for learners in Grades 10 and 11, with the highest being for Grade 12 at N$90,684 per annum.

Non-Namibian students at St Paul's College are expected to pay N$122,328 for Grade 1-6, N$151,476 for Grade 10-11, and N$157,908 for Grade 12.

For parents not paying taxes in Namibia or who do not provide their Namibian Tax Identification Number on the fee form, the costs are even higher. For example, a total of N$122,238 will be paid for learners in pre-grade to 6, and N$133,884 for pupils in Grade 7. The tuition continues to increase as the grades progress, with parents paying N$145,428 for Grades 8-9 and N$157,908 for Grade 12.

St George’s Diocesan School fees range from N$43,260 to N$128,544 per annum, with Grade 1-4 expected to fork out N$62,800 per year, N$80,340 for Grade 10-12, and N$128,544 for non-Namibians.

Johannesburg Stock Exchange-listed Curro-owned Windhoek Gymnasium emerged as the least expensive private school in the country, charging an annual school fee of N$44,400 for Pre-primary, N$66,420 for Primary School and N$81,600 per annum for high school, with no variation between Namibian and non-Namibian learners.

However, it is worth noting that private education in South Africa is also costly, with some schools charging as much as R300,000 per year for boarding and tuition. Hilton College in the KwaZulu-Natal midlands is currently the most expensive school in South Africa, with annual fees at R369,920 for 2023.

While the cost of private education in Namibia and South Africa remains high, parents whose children attend public schools and benefit from free universal education in Namibia have raised concerns about shortages and shortcomings in the system, with some claiming they are required to purchase stationeries that can cost over N$2,000 per child. In addition, they also criticised the new curriculum, stating that it was rushed and not properly consulted and resourced

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Last modified on Thursday, 12 January 2023 18:46

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