Failure to pay school fees and right to education

They say January is the longest month of the year due to financial obligations facing parents. This is indeed true, my children were recently dismissed from school because I failed to pay school fees. I know children have a right to education and I think schools should consider alternative solutions before resorting to dismissal. My children are eager learners, this dismissal could have a detrimental impact on their academic progress and educational journey. Can I force the school to take them back based on the right to education?
PP, Dar

We are sorry to hear about the dismissal of your children from school. it is true children have a right to education which is recognised and protected under international and national laws of many countries. In Tanzania, the Government has enacted various laws that protect a child’s right to education including the Constitution, the Law of the Child Act, the National Education Act and its Regulations. Moreover, public schools offer free education in an effort to ensure that each child gets their right to education without financial hurdles. This is not the same for privately owned schools.

You will appreciate that provision of education is a business and private schools require parents to meet their financial obligations including paying school fees. Therefore, you cannot force the school to take your children back based on the right to education. Unfortunately, school fees must be paid. However, as you have rightly stated, most private schools have policies including consultations with the parent to find alternative solutions before dismissal.  You may consult with your children’s school and negotiate a workable solution that will not adversely affect the children’s academic progress and educational journey including paying the fees in instalments.