Schools again urged not to increase auxiliary fees

Schools again urged not to increase auxiliary fees

Thursday, August 13, 2020

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KINGSTON, Jamaica — Minister of Education, Youth and Information, Karl Samuda has issued fresh pleas to school administrators to not increase auxiliary fees for the upcoming academic year.

The most recent came in a statement in the House of Representatives on Tuesday, when he argued that the "exorbitant fees being requested by some schools are untenable”.

The minister reiterated that there is a non-mandatory fee policy in place for infant, primary and secondary schools, pointing out that the education ministry's philosophy is that public education should be properly funded by the Government with stakeholders encouraged to make voluntary contributions.

“[Therefore] students should not be denied entry to schools because their parents are unable to pay. Parents must not be forced to pay any contribution or [be] made to feel as if they must pay the contribution as a requirement for registration, school access/attendance or criteria for graduation, examination slips, application to sixth form or access to any public service at a public educational institution,” Samuda said.

The minister pointed out that registration packages for students should cost no more than $5,000 for the new school year and should outline what the package entails.

“Items that attract a cost, such as IDs (identification), insurance, PE (physical education) uniforms and school ties should not be included in the registration package. These should be itemised for purchase separately,” he advised.

Samuda said the ministry will continue to fund schools through the provision of grants to be distributed in four tranches – April, June, September and December – in keeping with its long-term goal of ensuring equity, access for all and the provision of quality education.

—JIS


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