Be honest about the need for auxiliary fees, PM

Friday, August 16, 2019

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Dear Editor,

These days when I hear our prime minister speak I tend to wonder about him.

I recently heard him speak about about how school administrators were charging this and that fees and calling the fees different names. He said the fees have been increasing. Of course, he further stressed that these primary schools got a big increase in funding since he came to office. Indeed, the way he emphasised the increases it would seem that the schools should not be even charging any registration and other fees because the Government had already taken care of this in the increased subventions.

The question that arises is: Is the government subvention covering all the needs of the primary schools? If so, the principals should not be charging parent anything at all.

I am told that the principals are given guidelines as to what amounts they should charge and items they can charge for, so I am really befuddled by the prime minister's repeated absurd statements.

The prime minister, as far as I am concerned, is setting up parents against the schools by giving the impression that they (parents) should not really be paying anything because everything has been paid for by the Government. Indeed, I have got reports that this has caused a big drop in parent contributions and have caused many schools to have to eliminate or drastically reduce crucial aspects of their programmes because the funding from the Government had not been enough.

In the end, it is parents and their children who lose out when school administrators and teachers cannot function because of a lack of resources. Because of this, the teachers tend to go overseas, where they both get better pay and have access to better-resourced classrooms and other facilities. And we wonder why we have teacher shortages.

The prime minister is not honest enough to tell the parents of this country that they need to contribute to their children's education as what the Government is providing is just not enough to operate our schools. Instead, he has principals scratching their heads about how to make the little they get from the Government work, instead of spending more time managing these schools.

It is really a shame and disgrace what we have proffering as leadership of this lovely country of ours.

Mark Trought

marktrought@gmail.com


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