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Story Highlights

  • The auxiliary fee required by schools is a mandatory payment
  • It costs well over $120,000 for the State and the school to offer a year's education at the high school level
  • The Minister commended the GSAT awardees for their excellent work and urged them to continue to do well

Minister of Education, Hon. Rev. Ronald Thwaites, is reminding parents and guardians that the auxiliary fee required by schools is a mandatory payment, which is essential to their child’s education.

“The auxiliary fees are not optional. They are absolutely essential for everyone…(It) is each family’s or household’s direct contribution towards the cost of the school delivering education to your child,” he said.

The Minister was addressing the NCB Employees Co-operative Credit Union Limited’s 2013 Treasure Chest Solid Goal Grade Six Achievement Test (GSAT) awards ceremony, held at the Hotel Four Seasons in Kingston on August 7.

He pointed out that while the Government provides $11,500 for every student for tuition, pays all the salaries, and gives various grants to the schools, it costs well over $120,000 for the State and the school to offer a year’s education at the high school level, which varies depending on the school.

Rev. Thwaites said that while schools did better last year than before, “we are still missing about one third of the auxiliary fees that schools expect to collect and must collect in order to meet their regular expenses.”

“So, I’m really asking for people to take this even more seriously this year and we ask schools to be considerate, that if it can’t be paid all at one time, to give time to pay. This is an obligation which should be given priority in the household budget,” he emphasized.

The Minister urged parents who are having difficulties paying their auxiliary fees at one time, to visit the school and set up a payment system with the Principal or the Bursar and stick to their commitment.

“Parents, if you go to a school to set up a payment arrangement, and you are disregarded or you are hassled, you can tell me and tell the Ministry of Education, but parents must pay their child’s auxiliary fee at school or under the payment arrangements that they have agreed with,” he said.

In the meantime, the Minister commended the GSAT awardees for their excellent work and urged them to continue to do well.

The NCB Employees Co-operative Credit Union Limited’s Treasure Chest Solid Goal scholarship, which was initiated in 2010, awards $50,0000 each year to the top two students who display exemplary characteristics/performance in the GSAT examinations.

The scholarship is renewed each academic year for five years, once the child maintains a 70 per cent average. This year, four persons are renewing their scholarships, while two awardees are the top two GSAT students for 2013.